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Ware, Mass. March 31, 1847. 











It was not expected, that the request for an address, would have led tff 
the result here shewn; and had the labor required been anticipated, it 
would have been declined. The pressure of other cares would have ex- 
cused from the attempt. But having commenced and become interested in 
the pursuit, there seemed to be no alternative but to find the truth, and to 
prove it by record evidence. Tradition was found a very unsafe guide, and 
the principal internist in the following pages will be the copies from original 
papers found among the archives of the commonwealth in the Secretary's 
Office, and from the records of the original proprietors of Hardwick and of 
Palmer, and from the Registry of Deeds at Springfield. These are inserted 
in their proper connexion, rather than in an appendix. Hon. Joseph Cum- 
mings has furnished much valuable information with regard to the bounda- 
ries of the ancient grants, and the earliest settlers. The true history of the 
Equivalent Lands, after much research, was found in Trumbull's History 
of Connecticut. For some facts in the Ecclesiastical History, credit is due 
to a sermon preached by Rev. A. B, Reed, Thanksgiving, 1830. 


It is a matter for mutual congratulation, that we are per- 
mitted to assemble this day in this commodious Hall. That 
the town has undertaken and completed so convenient a 
building for the transaction of public business, with a room 
for the accommodation of a Grammar School, and offices 
for the Selectmen and Assessors, evinces, under our pecu- 
liar circumstances, a spirit of liberality in the inhabitants, in 
which we may well rejoice. 

In consequence of the rise of a flourishing village upon 
the eastern border of the town, the centre of business and 
of population had become so much changed, it seemed but 
an act of simple justice that the Town Hall should be locat- 
ed so as to accommodate the great majority of the voters. 
It is an unpleasant matter to disturb existing relations. An 
ancient centre is a spot about which we are drawn by the 
attachments of youth, and the force of habit. But the times 
change, and the busy habits of our New England population 
force us to change with them, and though the erection of 
this building on this place may prove inconvenient to a few 
of the inhabitants, it cannot fail to promote the convenience 
and comfort of the majority. 

It has been thought that the opening of this Hall was a 
fit occasion for sotne historical account of the town. In 
complying with the request of the building committee to pre- 
pare something of the kind, I did not anticipate the labor it 
would cost me. My place would more properly have been 
filled by some native of the town, and there are those more 
capable than I can be expected to be, to give an interesting 
relation of the early settlements. And what I have done, 
has been in the fragments of time, stolen froin severer duties. 

In my inquiries, I have endeavored to trace the early 
grants of the territory to their true origin. I had written 
the introductory chapter of the history, relying on the com- 
monly received traditions, which were supposed to be cor- 
rect by the older inhabitants, were put forth as true in a his- 
torical sermon, by the Rev. Mr. Read, preached Thanks- 


giving'day, 1830, and were afterwards incorporated into Bar- 
ber's Historical Collections of Massachusetts. In searching 
for the confirmation of that story, I became convinced it was 
entirely wrong, and am at a loss to account for the tradition. 
The story in Barber's History is, that the principal part of 
Ware was a tract of 10,000 acres, granted to the soldiers 
in the Narragansett war, — that they viewed the lands of little 
value, and afterwards sold them to John Reed, Esq. of 
Boston, for two coppers per acre.* 

The true history of the 10,000 acre tract is this. The 
first settlements in the western part of INlassachusetts, were 
made at Springfield, in 1636, which in process of time, em- 
braced Snffield, Enfield, and Somers within its bounds. 
Those towns, as well as Woodstock, were settled from Mas- 
sachusetts, and were under her jurisdiction. The charier of 
Connecticut, granted by Robert, Earl of Warwick, in the 
reign of King Charles, in 1631, conveyed " all that part 
of New England in America, which lies and extends itself 
from a river there called the Narragansett River, the space 
of forty leagues upon a straight line near the sea shore to- 
wards the southwest, west and by south or west, as 
the coast lieth towards Virginia, all the breadth afore- 
said, throughout the main lands there, from the Wes- 
tern Ocean, to the South Sea." When the line was 
run by Connecticut, it took in the towns above nam- 
ed. Massachusetts declined giving them up. A long con- 
troversy ensued, which lasted sixty-six years. In 1713, 
an agreement was made between the colonies, that the line 
should be run according to the charter. Massachusetts 
should retain jurisdiction over the towns settled by her, and 
should grant as an equivalent as many acres of unimproved 
land to Connecticut. 

* I find a deed on record at Springfield, Sept. 10, 1740, from John 
Read to Thomas Read, of " one full half right or share in a tov/nship 
lately granted by the Great and General Court of the Province to the 
.officers and soldiers which was formerly in ye Fight with the Indian En- 
emy at the falls on Connecticut River, commonly called the Falls 
Fight, which township lyeth near or adjoining to Deerfield in ye 
.■county of Hampshire, of which Fight my honored Father, Thom- 
as Read, deceased was then and there one of the soldiers." The 
township here referred to is Bernardslon, and the fight, the battle at 
Turner's Falls, during Phillip's War, in 1G7G. It may have been con- 
founded with the tract in Ware, owned by Mr. Read, who was a law- 
yer of some eminence in Boston, and owned other large tracts of land. 
There is a deed on record at Springfield, of 23,040 acres on the south- 
erly side of Deerfield, made by agents of the town of Boston to him. 
Tcmplelon and Westminster were Narragansett towns. 


On running the line, it was found at Connecticut River to 
run ninety rods north of the north-east bounds of Suffield, 
and that Massachusetts had encroached upon Connecticut, 
107,793 acres. Slie made a grant of that quantity of land 
to Connecticut, which was accepted as an equivalent. Tliis 
tract included Belchertown, Pelham, part of Enfield, and 
the 10,000 acres in Ware. The whole was sold soon after 
in 1716, in sixteen shares, for the sum of j£683, New Eng- 
land currency, which was a little more than a farthing per 
acre. The money went into the funds of Yale College.* 

The towns of Suffield, Enfield, Somers and Woodstock, 
continued in Massachusetts till 1747, when they were taken 
into Connecticut. 

Among the purchasers of the Equivalent lands, were Gov. 
Belcher and John Read, Esq., of Boston. Nathan Gould, 
Esq., the deputy-governor of Connecticut, and Peter Burr, 
Esq., one of the assistant judges. 

In proof that I am right, I find a deed of mortgage on 
the records at Springfield, from John Read Dec. 12, 1722, 
" Of all that my Ten Thousand acres of land, being near 
Brookfield, in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, be- 
ing that two sixteenth parts of the lands commonly called 
the Equivalent Lands, which in the late division of the 
Equivalent Lands, fell to the Hon. Nathan Gould and Pe- 
ter Burr, Esq. and to the said John Read." It was known 
afterwards, as "the Manor of Peace," as being a peace 
offering to Connecticut. 

The south-east corner of the Read tract was near where 
the barn of Samuel Gould now stands, thence the line run 
due north to Hardvvick line, passing west of Muddy Brook, 
and near Isaac Osborn's, thence west to Swift River, and 
south by the river to Palmer or the " Elbows," as it was 
then called, from the angles made by the branches of the 
Chicopee River. The South line was a continuation of 
the South line of Belchertown, bearing E. by N. This 
tract covered all the western portion of the town. The 
tract west of Swift River was called Cold Spring, and 
went into the hands of Gov. Belcher, and when incorporat- 
ed, called Belchertown. 

The eastern part of the town was included in a pur- 

* Trambull's History of Connecticut, vol. 1, page 446. The cur- 
rency of Connecticut was in bills of credit, which, by a law of the col- 
ony, passed for twenty shillings in value, equal to silver at eight shil- 
lings per ounce, Troy weight sterling, in all payments at the treasury. 
Trumbull, vol. 2, p. 49. 


chase made of the Indian proprietors Dec. 27, 1686. 
" John Magus, Lawrence Nassowanno, attorneys to Ano- 
gomok, Sachem of the tract of land called Won)beme- 
sisecook, James and Simon, sons and heirs of Black 
James, Sachem of the Nipmug country, for divers good 
causes and considerations, especially for and in consid- 
eration of the sum of twenty pounds current money of New 
England," conveyed to " Joshua Lamb, Nathaniel Paige, 
Andrew Gardner, Benjamin Gamblin, Benjamin Tucker, 
John Curtis, Richard Draper, and Samuel Ruggles of Rox- 
bury, Mass. a certain tract or parcel of land, containing by 
estimation twelve miles long, north and south, and eight 
miles wide, east and west, situate, lying and being near Qua- 
baug, commonly known by the name of Wombemesisecook, 
being butted and bounded southerly upon the land that Jo- 
seph Dudley Esq. lately purchased of the Indians, Easterly 
the southernmost corner upon a pond called Sasagookapaug, 
and so by a brook that runneth into said pond, and so up 
Northerly unto a place called Ueques, and so still Northerly 
until it meets with a River called Nenameseck, and Wester- 
ly by the River until it comes against Quaboge bounds, and 
joins unto their bounds, or however otherwise butted and 

It would be difficult now to trace these lines, except the 
one formed by Ware River, which it appears was called by 
the Indians " Nenameseck." It appears from the proprie- 
tors' records, where the deed is recorded, that they claimed 
the land from Rutland, now Barre, on the north, to the 
Quabaug River, in Warren, covering Hardwick, parts of 
Ware, Palmer, and Brookfield, and that part of Warren 
north of the River. South of the Quabaug belonged to 
Brimfield. The same proprietors bought about the same 
time of the Indians, the tract now forming the towns of Lei- 
cester and Spencer. 

The first attempts made to survey and lay out the lands 
was in 1727, at which time only two of the original proprie- 
tors were living, when they petitioned the Legislature to 
confirm the territory to them, which was refused. In 1728, 
a committee, one of whom was the Rev. Timothy Ruggles 
of Rochester, son of one of the purchasers, and father of 
the afterwards famous Brigadier Ruggles, was chosen to lay 
out a town six miles square within their claim, but it was not 
until 1732, that the Legislature confirmed to Joshua Lan)b 
and others, the tract of six miles square, then called Lambs- 
town, and which was afterwards incorporated as the town 
of Hardwick. 


As early as 1727, settlements were made in what is now 
Palmer, under grants or permits from the proprietors of 
Lambstown, by a colony of emigrants from the north of 
Ireland, among whom were Isaac Magoon and James Brak- 
enridge. The government did not admit their right, and in 
1732, they petitioned as follows: — 

" To His Excellency, Jonathan Belcher Esq., Captain General and 
Governor in chief in and over his Majesties Province of the Massachu- 
setts Bay in New England, The Honorable His Majesties Council, 
and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, May 31, 

The petition of the subscribers dwelling and residing on a tract and 
parcel of land lying and situate between Springfield and Brookfield, 
Briinfield and the land called the Equivalent land and Cold Spring, 
Humbly Sheweth — 

That they ai 3 sensible the said land belongs to the said Province, 
yet the reason why your petitioners entered on the said land was as 
follows. Some from the encouragement of Joshua Lamb, Esq. and 
Company, that the said land belonged to them, and that they would 
give to such of your petitioners as entered thereon under them a good 
right and title to such a part thereof as they respectively contracted for. 
Yet notwithstanding your petitioners are now sensible that the said Lamb 
& Co. have no right to the said land, and that the same will prove great- 
ly to your petitioners damage — that as to such as hold under them with- 
out relieved by your Excellency and Honors — and that others of your 
petitioners entered on from necessity, not having v/herewith of their 
own to provide. Yet nevertheless your petitioners are duly sensible 
that they deserve your discountenance. But confiding in the reasons 
offered, they humbly request your compassionate consideration — that 
they may be put under such regulation as may have a tendency to pro- 
mote the flourishing of religion, &c. 

Therefore your petitioners most humbly pray, that your Excellency 
and Honors would take the premises into your wise consideration, and 
either grant them the said tract of land or put them under such restric- 
tions and regulations as in your consummate wisdom shall be thought 
most reasonable, and your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. 

James Dorchester, 
Joseph Wright. 
Bernard McNitt. 
Daniel Fuller. 
Andrew Mackie, 
James Shearer. 
James Stephens. 
Daniel Killam. 
David Spear. 
Thomas Little. 
Samuel Doolittle. 
James Brakenridge. 
Robert Harper. 
William Shaw. 
John Harvey. 

John Bemon. 
Duncan Quintin. 
Isaac Maggon. 
Isaac Magoon, Jr. 
Micah Tousley. 
Elijah Vose. 
Elisha Hall, 
Alexander Tackel, 
Robert Farrell. 
Joseph Fleming. 
Aaron Nelson. 
John Henderson. 
David Nevins. 
Joseph Brooks. 

Humphrey Gardner, 
Nicholas Blancher. 
William Crawford, 
Samuel Nevins. 
Joseph Gerish. 
Samuel Shaw. 
Andrew Rutherford. 
Daniel Parsons. 
James M'Clenathan. 
James Lamberton. 
Thomas M'Clenathah 
Robert Thompson:. 
Joseph Wright, Jr. 
Samuel Brooks. 

Robert Nevins. 12 other names not to be seaH. 


In the House of Representatives, Nov. 24, 1732. In answer to thus 
petition, vorted, that Col. Alden and Jas. Bradford, with such others as 
the Honorable Board shall appoint, be a committee to repair to the land 
petitioned for, carefully to view the situation and circumstances thereof 
as well those of the petitioners, and also the quantity and quality of the 
said land and to report their opinion at the next May session, what may 
be proper for the court to do thereon, and that the petition be refened 
accordingly. Sent up for concurrence. J. Quincy, Speaker. 

In Council, Nov. 27, 1732. Read and concurred. Ebenezer Buzzell 
Esq. joined io the affair. J. Willard, Sec'y. 

Consented to. J, Belcher. 

The Committee appointed by the General Court at their session in 
Nov, last to repair to the land petitioned for by James Dorchester and 
sundry others — Having in pursuance of the vote of said Court repaired 
to said lands, and carefully viewed the inhabitants thereof as well as 
these of the petitioners, and also the quantity and quality of said lands, 
do report our opinion thereon, as follows, viz. 

We find the land petitioned for to be a tract of land commonly called 
the Elbow tract, lying near Springfield and the Equivalent Lands, con- 
taining 17,014 acres, (viz. contents of five miles square, and 1014 acres, 
over) exclusive of particular grants taken up and laid out within the 
same, bounded and included within the lines and boundaries of the adja- 
cent land as hereafter laid down, viz. Easterly in part upon the west line 
of Brookfield township, from the N. West comer the said line runs So. 2 
deg. West to the river, called Quabog alias Chicopee liver, thence bound- 
ing on Brimfield township, as the said river runs, easterly in pait and 
southerly, and in part westerly so far down said river, as to where the 
south end line of a tract of Equivalent land called Cold Spring town- 
ship crosses or skirts the said River, thence bounding Northerly on the 
said line as it keeps East by the Needle of the surveying instrument, 
to the South East comer of said tract or township, which is the mouth 
of Swift River, thence bounding Westerly in part on the said tract or 
township of Equivalent land as the river runs to where the south line 
of another tract of Equivalent land, containing 10,000 acres belonging- 
to John Read Esq. strikes up or runs from said river — thence bounding 
Northerly upon said line as it runs E. and by N. to the So. E. corner 
of said tract, being a heap of stones by the root of a great red oak tree,, 
fallen close by one on the west side of a run of water, about 18 rods 
southerly of the river, called the Ware River — thence bounding Wes- 
terly on the east line of said tract, as it runs North by the Needle,, 
until an east line there will strike the N. E. corner tree of Brookfield^ 
as by a plan presented herewith appears. 

We find the greatest part of said land to be a Pine land. High 
hills and low vallies, the hills very poor and mean, the vallies pretty- 
good. We also find that the said tract of land Ues in a broken form, 
and is much discommoded by farms claimed by particular giants from 
this court, which have taken up the best of the land. We also find 
that the circumstances of the petitioners and settlers, are difficult and 
much intricate and perplexed, some of them having entered and settled 
without regulation, and interfered and encroached upon other men's titles 
and improvements, and in many instances, two several settlers on th^ 
same spot, under diiferent pleas and pretences of right — some having 


lately laid out, some partly laid out, and others only pitched, interfering 
one with another as aforesaid. We would further inform this honora- 
ble court that we have taken great pains and care to inspect and in- 
quire into every particular instance relating to the said tract of land, 
and find it needful to prevent further charge and difficulty — to report 
particularly, viz. — That we find there are entered and settled and about 
settling on the said tract of land the number of eighty persons the most 
whereof are families and built houses, and made considerable improve- 
ments, and are now and have been constantly for more than three 
years supplied with a minister to preach the word of God unto 
them, who has been supported by a free contribution. We also find 
that about 48 of the above number were introduced and led on or en- 
couraged to settle and make improvements by Joshua Lamb, Esq. & 
Co. and their committee, who claimed the said tract of land by virtue 
of an Indian purchase, and the rest of the number had actual contracts 
with them for certain parcels thereof and received deeds of convey- 
ance and orders from them for laying out of their lots, and have 
had the most of them laid out accordingly. We are therefore humbly 
of the opinion that the several persons and families hereafter named, that 
were so admitted and settled under and by the said claimers, have their 
several and respective lots hereafter confirmed to them, their heirs and 
assigns in such proportions and under such restrictions and limitations 
and considerations as follows and are hereafter mentioned, viz." 

Then follow specific grants to eighty-five different per- 
sons, among whom were Isaac Mngoon, and Isaac Magoon 
Jr., the former was bounded north by the Read farm, near 
the south east corner. 

Other portions of the territory were to be apportioned 
among part of the grantees according to certain rules. The 
first grants being generally 100 acres each. 

"And that all and each of the aforenamed Person or Grantee 
Both first and last mentioned, (excepting the Rev'd Mr. John Harvey*) 
do pay into the Public Treasury of this Province the sum of Five Hun- 
dred Pounds within two years as also forthwith to Pay the further sum 
of Sixty Seven Pounds, Eleven Shillings and Nine pence the charge 
and Expense of this Committe on the affair. Each man or Grantee his 
Equal part or Proportion of said sums according to the Quantity of his 
Grant of first allotment, and if any of the aforenamed persons or Gran- 
tees Either first or last mentioned Do not fulfill the aforesaid conditions 
within the Term of time herein Limited, Their lots be forfeited and 
other way Disposed of as this Court shall order. And that all Public 
Charges arising for the future (Untill they be settled and Invested with 
the powers and privileges of a Township), shall be raised upon their 
several lots according to the Quantity of acres and that all such of the 
aforesaid persons or Grantees as are Intitled to Draw after Rights and 

* Rev. John Harvey was settled as the first minister of Palmer, in 
1734. He was ordained by the Londonderry Presbytery. He was suc- 
ceeded by the Rev. Robert Burns, in 1753. The (-hurch was Scotch 
Presbyterian till the settlement of Rev. Simeon Colton, in 1811. 


Divisions shall pay a Double Proportion to all such Charges according- 
to the Quantity of the Grants or first lots. And that they the afore- 
named Settlers and Grantees Do Erect and Build a Suitable House for 
Public Worship, and settle a minister within two Years and that they 
be allowed to Bring in a Bill for Erecting and setting themselves off a 
Township accordingly." 
This report was signed by Ebenezer Buzzell, and adopted. 

From these documents, it appears that the southern part 
of the town, and all east of the Read manor, as far north as 
Brookfield line extends, was included in what was then 
called the "Elbows." 

Allusion is made in the report of the committee to for- 
mer grants. The most ancient document I have found per- 
taining to the history of Ware is the following petition, dat- 
ed in 1673, thirteen years before the Indian deed to the pro- 
prietors of Hardwick, which is copied from the original, in 
the archives of the commonwealth, and with the grant and 
the deed following it, the title of the territory of this village, 
can be easily traced to the present proprietors. 

" To the Honoured Governour, Deputie Governour, Magistrates and 
Deputies now assembled and holding Generall Court in Boston. 

The humble petition of Richard HoUinworth of Salem, most hum- 
bly sheweth. 

That your most humble petitioner's ffather came into this country 
about forty yeares since, and brought a great ffamily with him, and a 
good estate. And being the first builder of vessells, being a ship-car- 
penter, was a great benefit to this counirey, and as great or greater 
than any one in the infancie of the countrie of a private man as it is 
fully knowne, yett gained not himselfe an estate, but spent his own 
that he brought, and notwithstanding all his service and the largeness 
of his family, being twelve in number, he never had more granted him 
by the countrie but fortie one acres of upland, and not one acre 
of meadow, and the land lying soe remote from the towne of Salem, 
it proved little worth to him or his, and none of his children have ever 
had anything but have lived by their labour with God's blessing, and 
your petitioner hath used maretan employment, and through many 
dangers and with much difficultie gotten a livelyhood for himselfe and 
his family, and being brought very low by his loss by the Dutch take- 
ing all from him, is constramed to apply himself unto yourselves, 
whom God hath sett as iTathers of this Commonwealth. 

And doth most humbly beseech you seriously to consider the prem- 
ises, and if it may stand with your good likeing and charitie to grant 
unto him a competent parcell of land that he may sitt downe upon with 
his family, viz. his wife and six children, for he would leave the 
seas had he any competencie of land whereby with his own in dus- 
try and God's blessing he might mainetaine his family. And he shall 
take it as a great favour. And as in duty bound, shall ever pray, &c." 

" In answer to this petition, the Deputys judge meet to grauntthe pe- 


titioner five hundred acres of land where he can find it free from any 
former graunt, ye Honorable Magistrates consenting hereto. 
8: 11: 1673. WILLIAM TORREY, Chairman. 

Consented to by the Magistrates. 


Hollingsworlh never located the land granted by the Gen- 
eral Court to him. His heirs afterwards sold the grant to 
Samuel Prince of Rochester. June 14, 1715, it appears 
by the records of the council, " a plot of 500 acres was 
presented by Samuel Prince, lying on Ware River, survey- 
ed by William Ward, being a grant of that quantity to 
Richard Hollingsworth in 1673." "It was ordered that 
the plat be confirmed as HoUingsworlh's grant, if that grant 
has not been laid out before." 

The plat and the order indorsed on the back of it cannot 
be found. Very few papers of that kind between 1710 and 
1730, are among the archives of the commonvvealtli, and it 
is supposed they were destroyed when the State House was 
burned in 1741. 

Tradition has always connected with this grant an obliga- 
tion to maintain mills at the falls, but the records disclose 
no such condition. The following deed copied from the 
Springfield Records will throw light on the earliest con- 

"To all People unto whom this Present Deed of sale shall come, 
Jonas Clarke of Boston, within the County of Suffolk in New Eng- 
land, INIazier, Sendeth Greeting. 

Know Ye, that I the said Jonas Clarke, for and in consideration of 
the sum of Four hundred pounds to me in hand at and before the en- 
seaUng and delivery hereof well and truly Paid by Jabez Olmsted of 
Brookfield in the County of Hampshire* in New England aforesaid. 
Husbandman, the Rec"t whereof I do hereby acknowledge, have given, 
granted, bargained, sold, conveyed, and confirmed, and by these Pres- 
ents do give, grant, bargain, sell, convey, and confirm unto the said 
Jabez Olmsted, his heirs and assigns forever, all that my certain tract 
or parcel of land situate, lying and being within the Province of the 
Massachusetts bay, in the Road from Brookfield to Hadley, Containing 
by estimation five hundred acres more or less, as the same is delineated 
and decyphered in a Plan thereof on file among the Records of the 
General Court or Assembly of this Province, which said land, upon 
Wednesday, twenty-fifth day of May, was allowed and confirmed as 
the Five hundred acres of land granted unto Richard Hollingsworth, 
Anno. 1673, by the said General Court, and is the same land which 
the said Hollingsworth's heirs sold lately unto Samuel Prince, late of 
Rochester, Yeoman, who sold the same to Thomas Clarke of Boston 
aforesaid. Merchant, of whom I purchased the same land, together with 
all and singular the trees, woods, underwoods, profits, privileges, and 

* Worcester county was not established till 1731. 


appurtenances, to the said granted land belonging or in anywise apper- 
taining, and the Reversion and remainders thereof." [Here follow the 
tisual covenants of icarrantij.] " To Have and to Hold the said given 
and granted land and premises with the appurtenances, unto the said Ja- 
bez Olmsted his heirs and assigns forever, to his and their only proper 
use, benefit and behoof from henceforth and forever." 

" In witness whereof I, the said Jonas Clarke have hereunto set ray 
hand and seal the second day of April, Anno Domini, one thousand 
seven hundred and twenty-nine, and in the second year of the Reign of 
our Sovereign Lord George the Second, King over Great Britain, &c. 

Signed, sealed, and delivered in presence of > 

Moses Rice. Benjamin Rolfe. ) Jonas Clarke and seal. 

Received the day and year above written, off the within named Ja- 
bez Olmsted, the sum of four hundred pounds, being the consideration 
money within expressed. 


Suffolk, ss. Boston, April 2, 1729. The above named Jonas 
Clarke personally appearing, acknowledged the above written instru- 
ment to be his act and Deed 

Before me, SAMUEL SEWALL, Jun., Just. Peace. 

Received, April 24, 1732, and recorded from Original." 

The south-east corner of this tract was near the north line 
of Hon. Joseph Cummings' farm, on the side hill, above 
Benjamin Eaton's. Thence the line ran north, taking in the 
lower falls, and extending to the farm now owned by Joseph 
Hartwell. Thence it ran west to the Read manor, and 
south, on its east line, to ihe south west corner on the plain 
west of muddy brook, between land of John Gould, and the 
farm formerly owned by Dea. Enos Davis, covering nearly 
the whole territory of what is now this village.* 

Upon this tract, I suppose the first settlements in the 
town were made. Capt. Jabez Olmstead came here from 
Brookfield, probably in 1729, and built mills upon the falls. 
He erected a house east of the Bank. The well now used 
for the tenements next the Bank was dug for his house, 
which afterwards was a tavern. It was a large two story 
house, called "the Great House," and was standing when the 
first movements were made to erect factories here in 1813. 
Mr. Demond occupied it for a year or more, and it stood 
till 1821. 

Jacob Cummings came here very soon after, from Kil- 
lingly, Ct. and was one of the most influential men in the esta- 
blishment of a Church and Society. He located upon the 
farm now owned by Joel Rice, Esq., and owned that, and 

* It appears by the Palmer records, that 100 acres adjoining Jabez 
Olrastead's farm, was granted to his eldest son. 


the one now owned by his great grandson, the Hon. Joseph 
Cummings. This tract was first laid out to Stewart South- 
gate, clerk of the proprietors of the Elbows. 

What is now the south east corner of the town was first 
settled by Isaac Magoon. He and his son, Isaac Jr., own- 
ed the farms now owned by Samuel Gould, Haskell Cum- 
mings and Josephus Lamberton, about 700 acres. These 
lands then belonged to the proprietors of the Elbows, now 
Palmer. Their grant covered all the lands not included in 
the ten thousand acres and the five hundred acres, except 
1443 acres in the north-east corner of the town, and some 
small portions since added to this town from Brookfield. 

The first settlers on this tract were what would be called 
in these days, squatters. Judah Marsh came from Hatfield 
or Hadley about 1730, and settled near Marsh's mills. He 
married a daughter of Capt. Jabez Olmstead, and his de- 
scendants now occupy some portions of the land granted to 
him and his brothers. The petition and grant may interest 
the descendants. They are copied from the originals in the 
Secretary's office at Boston. 

" To his Excellency Jonathan Belcher Esq. Captain General and 
Commander in chief of His Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts 
Bay in New England, &c., The Honorable His Majesty's Council and 
House of Representatives in General Court assembled at Boston, Oct. 
3, 1733. 

The Petition of us, the subscribers, Humbly she weth. That your Pe- 
titioners are now actually dwellinof on a tract of the unappropriated lands 
of this Province, in the county of Hampshire, bounded south partly by 
that tract of land called the Elbows and partly by Brookfield township, 
East by Ware River, North by land lately granted to Col. Lamb and 
Co.,^nd west by that part of the Equivalent lands belonging to John 
Read, of Boston, Esq. containing fourteen hundred and forty-three 
acres, as per a plat of said land herewith presented, more particularly 
appears, and on said tract of lands we have lived some of us three 
years where we have spent the most of that little substance we have ; 
and we assure your Honours, it was not the extraordinary goodness 
or quality of the lands, that induced us to go upon it, for a considerable 
part of said tract is Ledges of Rocks, and very Rockey, so as to render 
it unprofitable and almost useless, (as those that are acquainted with it 
can Testifie,) but that which induced us to settle on it, was our necessi- 
ty, our principle dependance for the support of ourselves is husbandly, 
and we had not a foot of land to imploy ourselves and families upon, 
were exposed to idleness and pinching want, and being then unsensi- 
ble how highly the court resented such a way of settling, and appre- 
hending that the principle thing insisted on was that there should be no 
trading or stockjobbing, but an actual settlement and improvement in 
husbandry, by the grantees themselves, with which we were ready to 

Wherefore, being thus unhappily intangled on said Land, with great 
submission, we most humbly move, that this great and Honorable As- 


sembly would condescend to exercise their charity and Pitty towards 
usj in granting us, (out of said land, including the spots we have al- 
ready begun on,) so much Land as may be a competency for us to im- 
prove for a livelyhood for ourselves and children, we have no tho't of 
any other, but with submission to spend the remainder of our Lives and 
substances on the spot, are content and ready to submit to any injunc- 
tions or Limitations within our reach, this Great and Honorable Court 
shall think meet to lay upon us, who as in Duty bound, shall ever pray, 
John X Clemens. 

Thomas Marsh. 
William Clemmens. 

Jonathan X Rood. 

JtTDAH Marsh. 

In the House of Representatives, Oct. 29, 1733. Read and ordered 
that the prayer of the Petition as particularly set forth in the vote on 
the plat of the lands hereto annexed. 

Sent up for concurrence, 

J. QUINCY, Speaker. 

In Council, Oct. 29, 1733. Non-concurred, and ordered that a com- 
mittee be appointed to view the lands and report. 

The House non-concurred in this vote, and the petition was not call- 
ed up again until 1737. 

Here follow the plat of the survey with the oaths admin- 
istered by Timothy Dwight Esq. of Belchertown, to Nathan- 
iel Dwight tlie Surveyor, and to William Clements and Jon- 
athan Rood the chain-men. 

^' In the House of Representatives, Jan. 3, 1737. 

Read, and ordered that the petition be revived, and that the pkt be 
accepted, and that the lands therein delineated and described be and nere- 
by are confirmed to the said Thomas Marsh, William Clements, John 
Clements, Jonathan Rood, Judah Marsh, and Samuel Marsh, their 
heirs and assigns respectively, provided each of the grantees do within 
the space of five years from this date, have six acres of the granted 
premises brought to English grass, or broken up by plowing, and each 
of them have a good dwelling-house thereon, of eighteen feet square, 
and seven feet stud at the least, and each a family dwelling therein, that 
they actually bring to the settlement of said Lands by themselves, or 
their children as above laid, provided also, the plat exceeds not the 
quantity of fourteen hundred and forty-three acres, and does not inter- 
fere with any former grant, and also that the grantees do within twelve 
months, pay to the Province Treasury, five pounds each, for the use 
of this province. Sent up for concurrence, 

J. QLIINCY, Speaker. 

In Council, Jan. 4, 1737. Read and concurred. 

SIMON FROST, Deputy Sec'y. 
Consented to. J. BELCHER. 


I have been more particular in tracing the origin of the 
grants, because I found the traditions so erroneous. It ap- 
pears to have been the custom of the Indians to burn over 
this territory, to aid them in securing game. The practice 
had destroyed the forests to a great extent, and doubtless in- 
jured the soil. Brookfield was settled as early as 1673, and 
the inhabitants used these lands for pasturing, and continued 
the practice of burning to improve the feed. Brookfield 
pastures was their common name. So bare of timber was 
the country, that the early settlers of Warren, on coming to 
the top of Coy's hill, could discern a stray beast any where 
in this whole valley. 

The town seems to have taken its name from the river 
passing through it, which bears the same nanje, from its 
sources to its junction with the Chicopee of which it is the 
middle and longest branch. It abounded with fish, the falls 
being a famous place for taking salmon. Weirs or Wears 
were constructed to aid in taking them, and hence the name 
of Wear River, wliich was afterwards spelled Ware. It is 
not so sweet as the Indian name " Nenameseck," the mean- 
ing of which I am not able to give. 

The town does not appear to have been settled very rapid- 
ly. The soil was poor, and we cannot appreciate the hard- 
ships the early settlers encountered. In 1742, when by the 
aid of Mr. Read, they petitioned to be incorporated as a 
town, it seems there were but thirty-three families here. 
The petition, report of the committee, and act of incorpor- 
ation, are carefully copied into the book of records, and 
from that time to the present, the records have been regular- 
ly kept, and carefully preserved. Few towns can show a 
more perfect record of their affairs from their first incorpo- 
ration than this town. 

In the history I shall give, from this period, I shall con- 
fine myself as closely to record evidence, as I have in 
searching for the grants. 

The town as incorporated, contains a tract lying mostly 
between Ware river and Swift river, being about six and a 
half miles long east and west, by four and a half north and 
south. It is the south-east corner town of Hampshire 

The Read Manor was the first located in 1713. 

The Hollingsworth grant, taking in the tract now occupied 
by the village and the water power, 1715. The Elbow 
tract was laid out in 1732. And the Marsh and Clements 
grant in 1733. 


"To his Excellency William Shirley, Esq., Captain General and 
Governour in Chief, the honorable the Council and Representatives in 
General Court assembled 26th May 1742. The petition of Thomas 
Marsh and others to the number of thirty-three house holders, about 
and between Wear River and Swift River, near Brookfield, humbly 
Sheweth. That your Petitioners are settled on a tract of land bound- 
ed, beginning at the Southwest Corner of the ten thousand acres of 
Equivalent land at Swift River, thence running due east to Biookfield 
Bounds, thence on Brookfield to Ware River, thence on Ware River to 
Hardwick, thence onHardwick to the ten thousand acres of Equivalent 
lands aforesaid, and thence on the Bounds of the said ten thousand 
acres, including the same unto the first mentioned Boundings. They 
dwell at a great distance from any place of public worship, most of 
them six or seven miles, and therefore cannot enjoy that privilege in 
their present condition, but as their Hearts are sincerely desirous of 
the Public Worship of God, they persuade themselves they shall be 
able chearfuUy to bear the Charge that will attend it. But as some of 
them belong to the town at the Elbows, some to Brookfield, and the 
rest of them live on farms of the Province Grants, they cannot properly 
and lawfully Proceed to erect and maintain the Public Worship of God 
among them, without the aid of this Court, and therefore Pray this 
honorable Court by a suitable Committee of this Court, to inquire into 
their state and circumstances, and make them a separate and distinct 
Township or Parish, and your Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever 
pray, &c. 

John Read, for the Petitioners. 

Jabez Olmstead. Paul Thurston. Joseph Marks, Sen. 

Jerm. Olmstead. Edm'd. Ayres. Joseph Marks. 

Israel Olmstead. Isaac Magoon, Jun. Joseph Brooks. 

Jacob Cummings,Jun. Wm. Paterson. Benj'. Shiple. 

Nahum Davis. Joseph Simoxs. John Anderson. 

James Cummings. Job Corlv, Tho's. Chapin. 

Jos. Marsh. Sam'l. Marsh. Daniel Thurston. 

Rich'd. Rogers. Judah Marsh. Isaac Magoon. 

JACf/B Cummings. Eph'm. Marsh. John Post. 

Sam'l. Allen. Thomas Marsh. Sam'l. Davis. 

In the House of Representatives, June 2, 1742. Read and ordered 
that Capt. Patridge and Capt Converse with such as the honorable 
Board shall joine, be a Committee to view the State and Circumstances 
of the Petitioners. They giving seasonable Notice to the Inhabitants 
or Proprietors of Brookfield and the Elbows (so called) and the Inhab- 
itants of Western who may be affected thereby : that they may be pre- 
sent at the meeting of said Committee if they see Cause : The Com- 
mittee to report as soon as may be what they judge proper for the 
Court to do in answer to this Petition. Sent up for concurrence. T. 
Gushing Spk'r. In Council June 8, 1742. Read and Concurred and 
Joseph Wilder, Esq. is joined in the affair. 

J. W^illard Sect. 

Consented to W. Shirley. 

Copy examined by J. Willard, Sect. 

The Committee appointed on the Petition of Thomas Marsh and 
others living near Ware River, in the County of Hampshire, have at- 


tended on said service, been upon the Spot, viewed the Lands Prayed 
for to be erected into a township, inquired into the Circumstances of 
the petitioners, and heard the objections of some of the Inhabitants of 
Kingstown,* and are of opinion that the Petitioners at present are not 
sufficient in order to erect a Town, with privileges, &c. But inasmuch 
as they Live at aweary great distance from anyplace of public worship 
and meet with great difficulty thereby, we are further of opinion that the 
Petitioners living Northward of a Line Run due easlf from the South- 
west Corner of the land Belonging to John Read, Esq., to Western 
Line, be freed from all Taxes to any other place or Town during the 
Pleasure of the General Court, so that they may be able to Provide 
Preaching among themselves which is submitted in the name and by 
order of the Committee. 

Dec. 4, 1712. JOSEPH WILDER. 

In council Read and ordered that this Report be accepted and also 
that the Lands within the limits above mentioned, and the Inhabitants 
thereon, be erected into a Precinct, and that the said Inhabitants have the 
Powers and Privileges which other Precincts do, or by Law ought to 
enjoy, and that they be and hereby are obliged to maintain the Public 
worship of God among them in the Support of a learned orthodox min- 
ister. Sent down for Concurrence. 

J. WiLLARD, Sect. 

In the house of Representatives, Dec. 7, 1742. Read and Con- 

Attest, RoLAiND CoTTOX, Clerk. Dom. Rep. 
Consented to, W. Shirley. 

Copy examined per J. Willard, Sect. 

The following deed from Mr. Read, uill show that he 
took some interest in establishing religious institutions here. 

" To all People to whom this writing shall come, I John Read of 
Boston, in the County of Suflblk, Send Greeting. Know Ye that for 
the founding and Indowment of a Parish Church on the Ten Thou- 
sand acres of Equivalent lands, lying on the East side of Swift River, 
upon the Road from Brookfield to Hadley, and now called the mannor 
of Peace, I do hereby give, grant, convey and confirm unto Jabez 
Olmstead, Gent, and Isaac Magoon, Yeoman, living near the said man- 
nor, and William Blackmer, John Davis and Benjamin Lull of the said 
mannor, Yeomen, the Sixth lott of land from the North of the fourth 
Tier of lotts from the East in the mannor of Peace, Extending South 
on a four rod highway a hundred rod wide, and from thence West and 
by South half a mile long. Also, part of the fifth lot near against the 
middle of that extending west and by South on the Main road twenty 
rod wide and from thence North twenty four rod long with the appur- 
tenances. To Have and to Hold the Sixth lot and part of the fifth lot 
aforesaid with the appurtenances to them the said Jabez Olmstead, Isaac 
Magoon, William Blackmer, John Davis and Benjamin Lull, and their 
heirs forever, in special Trust and confidence for the only uses, intents 

* Now Palmer. 

f The South line of the Equivalent ran E. by N. The strip be- 
tween these lines was called "The Garter." 


and purposes hereafter exprest, viz. for the use of the first minister of 
God's Holy word and Sacraments, who shall be freely chosen by the 
Inhabitants, free holders of the said manner and such others as the laws 
of the Government shall joyn in one Parish with them, or by the ma- 
jor part of them, and thereupon be lawfully Instituted and Ordained to 
that holy office there and such his successors forever, in pure and 
perpetual Almes, and for these special purposes, viz. the three acres, 
part of the fifth lot aforesaid, for the founding and continuance of a 
Parish Church and Christian Burying place forever : and the Sixth lot 
for a Glebe thereunto annexed for the improvement of such Minister 
and his Successors at their discretion towards their maintenance and 
.support forever. In witnesfe whereof I hereunto put my hand and seal 
this nineteenth day of September, Anno Dom. seventeen hundred and 
forty eight. 

Signed, sealed, and delivered in presence of ) j^q ^^j^^^ ^^^ g^^j_ 
Joseph Ayres, Lemuel Llackmer. ^ ' 

Hampshire, ss. At an Inferiour Court of Common Pleas, held at 
Northampton by adjournment on the first Tuesday of March Anno 
Dom. 1757. Then Lemuel Blackmer one of the Witnesses to ye 
w^ithin written Instrument appearing, made solemn Oath that he saw 
John Read, Esq., now deceased, in his lifetime, sign, seal, and Exe- 
cate the within instrument, as his act and deed, that he signed as a 
Witness to the same, and saw Joseph Ayres sign as a Witness also, at 
ye same time. 

Attest, J. Williams, Clerk. 
Rec'd. March 24th, 1757, and Recorded from the Original. 

Edw'd. Pynchon, Reg'r; 

The warrant for the first meeting of the precinct was is- 
sued Feb. 18, 1742-3 by William Pynchon, Esq. of Spring- 
field. It will be remembered that the change from the old 
style to new was not recognized in this country until 1752. 
Previous to which the year commenced on the 25th March, 
and the dates upon our records, between the 1st of January 
and that time are double. The first meeting was March 15, 
1742-3, at the house of Jabez Oimstead, near where the 
Bank now is, where they met for some years. Jacob Cummings 
was the Moderator of the first meeting, and he with Edward 
Ayres and Joseph Simons were chosen Precinct Committee, 
John Post, clerk. The object of this meeting, after choos- 
ing Precinct officers, was to raise money to defray the ex- 
penses of the act of incorporation, and for preaching the 
Gospel. It was voted to raise ten pounds and six shillings 
old tenor, to pay the charge of the committee, surveyor, 
and chain-men, and to raise forty pounds, old tenor, to hire 
preaching with. In consequence of the depreciation of the 
currency at that time, two shillings and eight pence sterling, 
was the value of twenty shillings, old tenor. 


It was not my intention to go into the ecclesiastical histo- 
ry of the town at this titne, but to leave that part to those 
who may properly be supposed to take the deepest interest 
in those things. But I should give you but a meagre ac- 
count of the first settlers of the town, were I to omit this 
part of their history. It was their desire to hear the gospel 
which moved them to'get set-off as a separate parish, and 
the records show that its maintenance was first in their hearts. 
Up to the time of the organization of the East Congrega- 
tional Society, in 1826, there was but one religious Society 
in town. All the business relating to the settlement and 
support of ministers was transacted in town meeting. I 
shall therefore give a brief history of the ministry in town. 
May 5, 1743. The Precinct " voted to hire INIr. Dickin- 
son to preach among us, until the forty pounds we granted 
is spent." In March, 1744, sixty pounds were raised for 
the support of the gospel, and several candidates employed. 
In Nov. 1745, Mr. Henry Carey was invited to settle as 
their minister, but declined. 

Soon after the incorporation of the Precinct, efforts were 
made to build a house of worship, but they could not agree 
upon the spot. Nathaniel Dwiglit of Belchertovvn, was em- 
ployed to find the geographical centre of the town, which is 
a few rods north of the meeting house now standing in the 
west parish. In 1748, it was voted " to build a house 40 
by 35, 18 feet posts, to pay twelve shillings, old tenor, for 
common laborers, eighteen shillings for team and cart." 
But nothing efficient was done, until Sept. 1750, when it 
was voted to build a house 30 by 25, — 15 feet posts. 
" Voted to raise the sum of thirty pounds, thirteen shillings 
and four pence, lawful money, to defray the charges of build- 
ing and covering the meeting house. £20 13s- 4'1- to be 
paid in labor and covering and slitwork, provided that 
every freeholder will "pay to the committee or collector the 
labor or materials his due proportion, — that he shall be as- 
sessed, upon suitable notice, and four pounds for to procure 
nails for the meeting house. Voted, that labor shall be set 
at the value of eighteen shillings per day, and team work 
answerable, and boards at nine pounds, equal to old tenor, 
and shingles at four pounds ten shillings, old tenor." Jacob 
Cummings, Joseph Scoit, Edward Ayres, Samuel Allen, 
and John Taplln, were chosen building committee. It was 
some years before the house was completed, if it was ever 
entirely done. " Sept. 4, 1760. — It was voted to have an 


alley three feet wide, between the men's and women's seats." 
In June, 1762, " voted to allow Thomas Andrews six pounds 
to plaister the meeting house over head." Sept. 24, 1766, 
" Voted, that Thomas Andrews shall halve the boards over 
head in the meeting house, and is to have what the workmen 
judge it worth for said halving." It was used as a place of 
worship until the year 1800, when the house that has been 
recently remodeled in the west parish, was built. 

March, 1750-51, " it was voted to ordain the worthy 
Mr. Grindall Rawson in this Precinct, on the second Wed- 
nesday in May next." His answer to the call is dated Feb. 
11, 1750, and as a specimen of the man and of the times, 
I copy it from the records, where it is'entered, apparently in 
his own hand writing. 

" My BRETHRE^^, 

Since you were so unanimous in your invitation of me to settle with 
you in the work of the Gospel Ministry, (there beiujo- not so much as 
one~ negative vote,) upon seriously addressing- myself to the throne 
of grace, as I trust for direction, in the ffreat affair, after proper reflec- 
tion upon the difficulties you would be likely to be thrown into upon my 
Isaving you, — notwithstanding the great discouragements in regard to 
my outward subsistence at present, and the many satisfactions of life 
of which I foresee I must deny myself, more I believe than you are 
sensible of, or is any wav necessary for me to recite, which have set 
very heavy upon my mind, and have for a long time preyed upon my 
spirits, and had I have hearkened to the struggles of animal nature, 
would soon have determined me to have left you, tho' in the greatest 
confusion ; yet a sense of duty and a desire of promoting your ever- 
lasting peace and welfare, have counterpoised all other difRculties, so 
that I have concluded to comply with your request, and accept of your 
invitation ; hoping that God in his Providence will so order it, that we 
shall be mutual blessings to one another. And as it is not yours, but 
you that I shall seek, I hope that you will be ready to contribute to me 
at all times of your temporals, as I shall be ready to do to you in spir- 
ituals, to the utmost of my power, and have no g-reater joy, I hope, 
than in promotinj your good, and seeing you walking in the truth, and 
that I shall so walk before you in a sober and Godly life, that you may 
have me for an example, and that both in my living and preaching, I 
may set forward the religion of Jesus. 

Brethren, pray for me, that I may be made a precious gift of our as- 
cended Saviour to you. I hope that you will never do any thing to 
weaken my hands or discourage my heart, [which I assure you is almost 
dismayed already under the sjloomy prospect,] nor expect perfection 
from me, for I am a man of Uhe passions, and subject to human infirm- 
ities, which I hope you will ever be ready to cover with a mantle of 
love. And that you may behave yourselves, as becomes knowing, wise 
and discreet christians, nothing wavering or unsteady, shall ever be 
my prayer for you. 

Peace, Feb. II, 1750. 


Mr. Rawson's salary for the first two years was to be 
i45, the third year three pounds to be added, and four 
pounds annually afterwards till it should be sixty pounds, and 
£100 settlement. He was ordained May 8, 1751.* The 
same day a church was organized, but it is not known of 
how many members it consisted. It must have been small, 
as the whole number which had been admitted at the time of 
Mr. Rawson's dismission, Jan. 19, 1754, was but 43. But 
little is known of Mr. Rawson's history or character. 
Traditional accounts represent him as a man of little 
seriousness, comeliness or refinement. Some disaffection 
seems to have shown itself soon after his settlement, for May 
12, 1752, it was voted, " to reconsider the vote giving Air. 
Rawson a call, and for paying the salary and settlement." 
The collectors neglected or refused to collect the taxes for 
his salary, and a petition was sent to his Majesty's council and 
House of Representatives, asking power to excuse the col- 
lectors, and choose others in their stead, which was granted. 

Mr. Rawson's request for a dismission is upon record as 
follows : 

" To the Committee of Ware River Parish, to be communicated to 
the parish. 

You are sensible that for some time I have wanted to be released 
from my relation to Ware River Parish as a minister, and as the major 
part of the voters have dismissed me from my relation to them as a 
minister, I gladly accept the opportunity of releasing myself from you, 
especially as the major part of my church have this day invited me to 
accompany them into a new settlement of which I have accepted, and 
I therefore do now release you from your relation to me as a minister 
from this day forward, as witness my hand, Jan. 30, 1754. 


It does not appear that any council was called to dissolve 
the connexion. Mr. Rawson was afterwards settled in Yar- 
mouth, Mass. in 1755, where he remained but a (ew years. 

* The Council at the ordination of Mr. Rawson, were 
Rev. John Campbell, of Oxford. 
" Grindall Rawson, of Hadlyme, Conn. 
" Robert Breck, 1st church, of Springfield. 
" Caleb Rice, of Sturbridge. 
" David White, of Hardwick. 

" Noah Mirick, of 4th church, Springfield, (now Wilbraham.) 
" Thomas Skinner, of Westchester, in Colchester, Ct. 
" Benjamin Bowers, of Middle Haddam, Ct. 
" Isaac Jones, of Western, (now Warren.) 
" Pelatiah Webster, of Quabbin, (now Greenwich.) 
each -with his delegate. 


He is believed to have been a Chaplain in the Revolu- 

After Mr. Rawson's dismission, there does not appear to 
have been regular preaching for some time. The poverty 
of the people rendered it exceeding difficult to collect the 
taxes. It appears the precinct " voted Jan. 1, 1755, that 
the collectors of Ware River Parish that are behind in their 
collections, pay in and make up their collection to the Parish 
Committee, excepting so much as the court assigned to Mr. 
Ravvson, by the hand of Mr. Edward Ayres, for this reason, 
that the Parish Treasurer is reduced to such low circum- 
stances, that the parish are not willing to trust any more in 
his hands." 

In the fall of 1758, the church and Precinct called Mr. 
Ezra Thayer to become their minister, and he was or- 
dained Jan. 10, 1759. His salary was to be £40 for three 
years, then £3 to be added yearly till it became £55, and 
as settlement, ^100. A deed of the parsonage land is ac- 
knowledged by him as part of the settlement, J£66 13«- 4'^- 
He lived where Samuel Holbrook now lives. To this time 
the church had no confession of faith, and one was proposed 
by the ordaining council and adopted. The half way cove- 
nant plan prevailed to considerable extent, and injured the 
prosperity of the church. Mr. Thayer continued to be 
minister till his death, Feb. 12, 1775. Seventy-nine were 
received into the church in full communion, during his min- 

Mr. Thayer was a native of IMendon, graduated at Har- 
vard College, 1756. He is said to have been a plain man, 
of pleasing address, and to have secured the confidence of 
the people. The town erected tomb stones to mark the 
place of his burial, as a token of their respect. 

The following is the Epitaph on his tomb stone, now 
standing in the burying ground in the West Parish. 

" In Memory of the Rev. Ezra Thayer, the Learned, Pious, Faith- 
ful, and Deservedly Esteemed Pastor of the Church in this town, who 

* I find there have been three ministers of the same name, — Grin- 
dall Rawson, who graduated at Harvard College, 1678, settled in Men- 
don 1680, where he died, 1715. 

A nother Grindall Rawson graduated at Harvard College, 1728 — was 
settled as the first minister in South Hadley, 1733, where he is spoken 
of by President Edwards, as a successful minister. He was afterwards 
settled at Hadlyme, Ct. 1745, where he died in 1777. Grindall Raw- 
son, the first minister in Ware, graduated at Harvard College, 1741, 
and died in 1794, aged 73. The first was probably the grand- father^ 
the second, an uncle of the latter. 


died Feb. 12, 1775, in the 43d year of his age, and the 16th of his 

Go reader mind 
The better part, 
Believe the Gospel, 
Mend thy heart. 
Go learn to live, 
Learn to die. 
For die thou must 
As well as I." 

In 17S0, jNIr. Winslow Packard was invited to become 
the minister, but declined this, as well as a renewal of the 
call. In 1785, Mr. Jeremiah Hallock preached here as a 
candidate, and an unsuccessful attempt was made to settle 
him. While he was preaching here, an unusual interest was 
manifested in religion. He afterwards was an eminent min- 
ister at Canton, Ct., and an interesting memoir of him was 
compiled by Rev. Cyrus Yale, of New Hartford, Ct. A 
few sentences from his diary, while he was preaching in this 
place, will be interesting. 

" 1785, Oct. 17, Sabbath. Spent some lime in medita- 
tion and prayer this morning. The people were very atten- 
tive. O, may I never forget the mercies of the Lord. — 
Had a very full and attentive conference this evening. Had 
freedom in discourse, and so had others. — Some appear- 
ance of an awakening — O, may it come on, O, may it come 
on. Nov. 7. — A remarkable meeting this evening. Some 
suppose there were three hundred persons present — was en- 
abled to preach with freedom to the most affected audience 
I ever saw. 

Feb. 1. Visited my pleasant grove, and took my farewell of 
Ware. I have been there twelve Sabbaths. W^hen I came 
the young people were light and gay, but it has pleased God 
to awaken them so that their frolicks are turned into confer- 
ences, and to God's name be all the glory. There are 
about twelve hopefid converts." 

In July, 1785, Mr. Benjamin Judd was invited to settle 
as a minister, and was ordained, Oct. 12. He probably 
came from the county of Berkshire, as his ordination sermon 
was preached by Rev. Daniel Collins of Lanesboro'. Dr. 
West of Stockbridge, Rev. Mr. Perry of Richmond, and 
Rev. JNIr. Munson of Lenox, were members of the council. 
The people were not united in calling Mr. Judd, and un- 
happily difficulties soon arose, which resulted in his dismis- 


sion, Sept. 28, 1787, and no minister was settled for five 

In March, 1792, the church and town gave an unanimous 
invitation to Mr. Reuben Moss, to become their minister, 
and he was ordained June 12th. He was a native of Che- 
shire, Ct., graduated at Yale College, 1787, and studied 
Theology with Rev. Dr. Trumbull, of New Haven. He 
received £80 salary, and j6150 settlement. The following 
is his answer to the call, copied from the original, which has 
been carefully preserved. 

" To the Church and other Inhabitants in Ware. 

Brethren and Friends, 

I have taken your Call to settle with you as a 
Gospel minister, into serious, deliberate and prayerful Consideration. 
Influenced by Solomon's Assertion, In the multitude of Counsellors 
there is safety, I have also asked the opinion of my Honoured Parents 
and of many Reverend Fathers in the Ministry. On the whole, re- 
viewing the singular Providence of God, in opening a door for me to 
preach the gospel among you, the Unanimity of your hearts in Elect- 
ing me for your pastor, Your generous Proposals for my temporal sup- 
port and the joint Encouragement of all to whom I have made appli- 
cation for advice to go forward, I am inclined to think that the Voice 
of the People is the voice of God, saying this is the way, walk in it': 
however, contemplating the Magnitude and extent of a good work, 
how many fiery darts may be hurled at an Officer in the Church mili- 
itant, and the Solemn account all who watch for souls must give at the 
last great day, I am ready to adopt the language of the apostle, who is 
sufficient for these things. But the Captain of our Salvation hath 
said, Lo I am with you always. Animated by this Great and precious 
promise, I Cheerfully comply with your joint invitation. Let 
Interested always in your efl^ectual fervent prayers, and constantly sup- 
ported by your pious Examples, and I think I shall be cordially willing 
to spend and be spent for you. 

I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he 
would satisfy you Early with his mercies, do you good and make you 
Glad according to the days wherein he hath afflicted you, and the 
years wherein you have seen Evil. Now the God of hope pour his 
spirit upon you, and his blessing upon your offspring and fill you all, 
both old and young with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may 
abound in hope, through the power of the holy Ghost. Permit me to 
subscribe myself vour servant for Jesus' Sake. 


N. B. As Ware is so far from my kindred according to the flesh, 
from the public seats of Literature, &c., I may have occasion to be 
absent three or four Sabbaths Yearly. 

P. S. It is written If any man provide not for his own but especially 
for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than 
an Infidel. You will expect therefore that I pay suitable attention to 
the things which are seen. I shall consider it an act of kindness if 


the town will give their oblig-ation to Mr. Thomas Marsh for forty-live 
pounds as soon as he procures and delivers me a Warranty Deed of the 
seventeen acres of land called his wife's thirds. If it be your pleasure 
that the year in our computation of time respecting my annual Salary 
commence the first day of April, when I last returned to you from Pel- 
ham, I have no objections.— Once more I beg leave to rely on your 
punctuality. Punctuality will be best for you, for in general sufficient 
unto a year are the burdens thereof. Punctuality I apprehend will be 
of great service to me. I suppose I shall be willing to enter into a fa- 
mily state, as soon as I can procure Decent Buildings without being 
much involved, and I have but little to depend onto defray the expense 
of Building, besides my annual income and the kind donation of a gen- 
erous people. Punctuality, therefore, and any assistance which has 
been or may be proposed, will be received with gratitude by him who 
is cheerfully devoted to the service of God our Saviour among you. 
Finally, Brethren, be perfect, be of good Comfort, be of one mind, live 
in peace, and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you. Happy 
is that People that is in such a case, yea happy is that People whose 
God is the Lord. 

Ware, May 18, 1792. 


As it is customary in this Commonwealth for every family to make an 
Entertainment, I am sensible the expenses of Ordination have been 
pretty considerable. And you been at some Cost and pains in sending 
to call my distant friends. Desirous therefore of sharing with you in 
the Expenses of Ordination and of exhibiting a public solid testimony 
of my grateful sense of your kindness in sending so far to my old 
friends, I request you to accept of five pounds. If you comply whh 
this request, the Assessors may be directed to make a rate bill for this 
year's Salary, which will amount only to seventy-five pounds. 

The Moderator of the Town Meeting of Ware, to be communicated. 

Ware, June 26, 1792. 
In answer to this, the town voted '' to accept of Mr. Moss' gratis." 

Mr. Moss continued in the ministry in this place until his 
death, Feh. 17, 1809, more than sixteen years. He was a 
very successful and devoted minister. During his labors, 
fifty were added to the church, forty-two by profession, and 
eight by recommendation from other churches. He was a 
man of ardent piety, of refined feelings, and somewhat dis- 
tinguished as a Biblical scholar. Asa preacher, he was 
plain atid practical, and enforced his instructions by a blame- 
less example. Many now remember him as the faithful and 
affectionate friend of the young. He was particular in his 
attention to the district schools. At the time of his settle- 
ment they were in a low and disorderly state, but they very 
soon became very much improved through his attention and 
influence. By his effort in this department of his labors, he 


was instrumental in preparing a large number of young men 
to engage in the instruction of schools in this and neighbor- 
ing towns. No town in this vicinity it is said, furnished so 
many teachers. The tone of moral feeling and the standard 
of education were greatly raised among the people. Twice 
during his ministry, he was afflicted with derangement, and 
died at the age of fifty.* 

July 9, 1810. Rev. Samuel Ware was invited to settle 
as minister, and was ordained Oct. 31. Salary, .^400, and 
a settlement of $i500, if he should remain fifteen years. He 
was a useful minister, and was much blessed in his labors, 
for more than fifteen years, and gathered one hundred and 
ninety-seven into the church, 177 by profession, and 20 by 
letter from other churches. He was dismissed in conse- 
quence of ill health, in 1826, and the following vote passed 
by the town, July 3, will show the esteem in which he was 
held. " Voted, unanimously, that agreeably to his request, 
we dismiss and cordially recommend the Rev. Samuel 
Ware, as an exemplary christian, and an able, judicious and 
faithful minister of the gospel." 

Jn July 19, 1826, Rev. Augustus B. Reed, a native of 
Rehoboth, and graduate of Brown University, in 1821, was 
installed as pastor of the church and people. The same 
council dismissed Mr. Ware, who is still living. To this 
time, all business pertaining to the affairs of the parish had 
been done in town meeting. Mr. Reed continued the min- 
ister of the first parish until June 5, 1838, when be was dis- 
missed on account of feeble health. He died in this town, 
Sept. 30, 1838, aged nearly 40. 

Rev. Hervey Smith, his successor, was installed Sept. 
19, 1838, dismissed 1840, and is now living in the state of 
New York. 

Rev. William E. Dixon, of Enfield, Ct., a graduate of 
Williams College, was ordained Jan. 14, 1841, and dismiss- 
ed May 26, 1842. He is now living in his native place. 

Rev. David N. Cohurn, from Thompson, Cl., a graduate 
of Amherst College, was ordained Sept. 21, 1842, and is 
the present minister of the first church. 

Until 1825, the inhabitants of the town had generally met 
in one place of worship. In consequence of the flourishing 

* Mr. Moss married Mrs. Hadassah Cheesebrough, of Stonington, 
Ct. where some of his descendants now live. He built the house now 
owned by Reuel Washburn. It was afterwards owned by Rev. Mr, 


village which rose as by magic in that year on the eastern 
border of the town, containing about one half of the popula- 
tion, it was found necessary to form a new society, and 
erect a house of worship. In April, 1826, a society was 
organized, and a church formed, April 12. Rev. Parsons 
Cook, a native of Hadley, and a graduate of Williams Col- 
ilege, was ordained June 21, 1826.* The same year the 
house of worship now occupied by the East Congregational 
Society was built. The house has been remodelled the past 
year, and will compare advantageously with any house in the 
commonwealth west of Worcester. It will seat 900 per- 
sons. Mr. Cook continued pastor of the church until April 
13, 1835. He gathered 350 members into the church dur- 
ing his ministry. He was succeeded by Rev. Cyrus Yale, 
from New Hartford, Ct., installed June 11, 1S35, who was 
dismissed, and returned to his former field of labor Aug. 3, 

Rev. Jonathan Edwards Woodbridge, a native of Wor- 
thington in this county, and college class-mate of Mr. Cook, 
was installed May 2, 1838. He was dismissed Dec. 28, 
1840, to become one of the editors of the N. E. Puritan, 
in connexion with Rev. Mr. Cook. 

June 28, 1842, the present n)inister, Rev. Nahum Gale 
3s ordained. He is a native of . ' 
graduated at Amherst College, 183'/ 

Since the Village sprung up, a small Methodist Society 
has existed here. 

A Baptist Society, just over the line in Hardwick has ex- 
isted for more than fifty years, to which Rev. Ebenezer 
Burt has preached most of the time, and to which some fa- 
milies in this town have belonged. During the last year, a 
Baptist church has been organized in the Village, and Rev. 
Amory Gale, a graduate of Brown University, was ordain- 
ed Nov. 11, 1846. They have not yet erected a house of 
worship, but propose to do so this year. 

A small Free Will Baptist church has existed a few years 
in the southwest part of the town, but has no house of wor- 

A house is now going up for an Unitarian Society in the 

* The services at the ordination were, Sermon, by Rev. Dr. Wood- 
bridge, of Hadley. Ordaining Prayer, by Rev. Mr. Vaill, of Brimfield. 
Charge, by Rev. Mr. Ely of Monson. Right hand of fellowship, by 
Rev. Mr. Gridley of WiUiamstown. Concluding Prayer, by Rev. Mr. 
Sweet, of Palmer. ' 



The following persons have been deacons in the first 
church, viz: — 


Chosen 1751. 

Died Feb. 27, 1776. 


" 1751. 

Date of death not known 


" 1758. 

Died Sept. 11, 1789. 


" 1768. 

" March 24, 1792. 


" 1789. 

" June 23, 1826. 


" 1789. 

" July 10, 1834. 


, " 1815. 

Dismissed, 1826. 


" 1815. 



" 1826. 

Deposed, 1830. 


" 1830. 

Died May 10, 1837. 


" 1835. 


" 1837. 

The deacons in the East Congregational Church. 

JOSEPH CUMMINGS, chosen in 1826. 






" " 1826. 

Resigned, 1841 

" " 1826. 


" " 1837. 

" " 1837. 

" " 1844. 


Ware was incorporated as a town Nov. 25, 1761. The 
first warrant for town meeting was issued by Eleazar Porter, 
Esq. of Hadley, Feb. 23, 1762, and the meeting held 
March 9ih. William Brakenridge was chosen clerk. He 
had been clerk of the Precinct from 1757, and held the of- 
fice until 1777. The first board of Selectmen were Sam- 
uel Sherman, William Brakenridge, John Davis, Jacob 
Cuminings, and Judah Marsh, who were also Assessors, — 
Jacob Cummings, Treasurer. The first town meetings were 
called in His Majesty's name, which continued till 1776. 
Then they were called " in the name of Massachusetts and 
the people," or " the government and the people of Massa- 
chusetts Bay in New England," till the adoption of the State 
Constitution, in 1780, when the present style was adopted, 
" in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." 

In March, 17 75, William Brakenridge was chosen dele- 
gate to the Provincial Congress. In May of the same year 
" it was voted to choose three men to take turns to attend the 


Congress, a free gratis, the district bearing their expense," 
and it appears that in October, that Wilham Brakenridge 
was allowed £o 6^- 8''- and Joseph Foster was allowed =£3 
Qs- 6d- Dea. Thomas Jenkins was the other delegate. In 
1778, a frame of government, or Constiiiition was sent out 
to the people, and unanimously rejected. The action of this 
town upon the Constitution that was sent out to the people, 
in 1780, is a curious chapter in history, and is worthy of 
being copied entire, as an illustration of the difficulties our 
fathers encountered when they undertook to set up a govern- 
ment of their own. 

"May 17, 1780. The meeting being opened, made 
choice of Lieut. Abraham Cummings moderator for said 

Voted to choose a committee of seven men to consider 
of the Constitution, made choice of Capt. Wm. Braken- 
ridge, Deacon Thomas Jenkins, Mr. Thomas INIcClintock, 
Lieut. Abraham Cummings, Mr. Samuel Dunsmore, Dea. 
Maverick Smith, and one Tisdale. 

Voted to adjourn the meeting till Thursday, the 25lh inst. 
at 1 o'clock. Met and adjourned till Wednesday, the 31st 
inst. at 1 o'clock. Met according to adjournment. Voted 
not to accept of the whole of the Constitution. Voted to 
accept the sixteenth article of the Bill of rights, with this 
amendment: — Where it does not hurt the innocent frame of 

Chap. 1. Sec. 2. Art. 1. — Voted to take off one third of 
the council and Senate. 

Sec. 3. Art. 2. — Voted that no town shall send more 
than four Representatives. 

Chap. 2. Sec. 1. Art. 2. — Voted that the Governor 
shall be of the Protestant religion. 

Art. 13. — Voted that Salaries shall be lowered as well as 

Chap. 3, Art. 1. — Voted that the word Shall, be put in 
instead of the word May. 

Chap. 6. Art. 3. — Voted, that they shall not increase 
the qualifications of property, of persons to be elected to 

Thirty-one persons voted to accept the Constitution with 
the alteraiions here made, except one man against the third 
article of the declaration of rights." 

If the Constitution fared as hard in other towns, we may 
wonder how our government had an existence. We must 


remember, that there was no model in Europe or elsewhere 
that our fathers would follow; and though some of these 
votes may seem to us strange, they at least shew that the 
men of those times thought for themselves. It shows also, 
that some things which have provoked much discussion with- 
in a few years, especially with regard to the lowering of sa- 
laries, were as well considered then. 

This was during the war of the Revolution, when money 
was scarce, and the inhabitants being poor, sufiered great 
hardships. They do not seem to have been destitute of pat- 
riotism, for the lecords show, that they made great efforts 
to comply with the requisitions for men and for supphes. 
" In 1777, the town voted to raise eight men for^the Conti- 
nental army, and to pay each man twenty pounds as a boun- 
ty from the town. In 1778, voted to raise the clothing for 
the soldiers, to allow six dollars a pair for shoes, four dol- 
lars a pair for stockings, ten shillings a yard for cloth a yard 
wide. Edward Deinond, Jr. to"provide twenty-one yards." 
These prices were in consequence of the depreciation of the 
continental money. In 1780, the town raised ^1,000 to 
hire preaching, f 1,500 for town charges, £2,000 to repair 
highways, at $20 a day. 

The same year Mr. Winslow Packard was invited to be- 
come the niinister, with £130 settlement, £45 salary " to be 
stated on the following articles. Wheat, at five shillings per 
bushel. Rye, at three shillings and four pence per bushel. 
Indian corn, at two shillings and six pence per bushel. 
Pork, at three pence half penny per pound. Beef, at two 
pence per pound. Sheep's wool, at one shilling and six 
pence per pound. Butter, at seven pence per pound. La- 
bor, at two shillings and six pence per day in hay time." 
" It was also voted to pay Capt. Brakenridge seven shillings 
per week for boarding Mr. Packard, the old way, or eighty 
double Continental money." Deacon William Paige was 
also allowed " seven shillings a week old way, or seventy- 
two double continental." 

Daniel Gould, Oliver Coney, and David Brown, were 
allowed for twelve days making taxes; eight dollars a day, 
ninety-six dollars. 

Sept. 1780. — It was voted to raise thirteen thousand six 
hundred and eighty pounds to pay the soldiers that are now 
in service. Jan. 1781. — Mr. Davenport was allowed 
three hundred twenty-eight pounds for preaching, forty 
pounds per day. 



March, 1781 . The poll-tax was thirty pounds ten shillings. 
Maverick Smith, Daniel Gould, and David Brown were al- 
lowed for making taxes 35 days, at ^^20 a day, two hundred 
and ten pounds. 

At the first election under the Constitution, Sept. 4, 
1780, John Hancock had 20 voles for Governor, 
James Bowdoin, 1 vote 
Robert Treat Paine, I vote. 
Azor One, had 10 votes for Lieut. Governor. 
Artemas Ward had 4 votes. 
Senators — Joseph Hawley, 14. Col. Woodbridge, 18 
John Bliss, 16. Lawyer Strong, 8 

Timothy Danielson, 6. Eleazar Porter, 2 

" March, 1782. Voted to allow Daniel Gould, and Tho- 
mas Tut^s one pound, four shillings, for collecting town 
beef; allowed Daniel Gould sixteen shillings and six pence, 
for keeping and driving town beef ; allowed Francis Brak- 
enridge twelve shillings, for driving beef cattle to Hampton." 
These were supplies for the army. 

In April, 1786, James Bowdoin for Gov. 20 votes. 
John Hancock, " 1 " 

Thomas Gushing, Lieut. Gov. IS votes. 

Senators — Timothy Danielson, 16. Oliver Phelps, 15 
Caleb Strong, 16. Wm. Brakenridge 21 

In Aug. 1786, the Shays Insurrection began to make 
trouble in this section of Massachusetts, and a town meet- 
ing was called on the 18ih, to "see if the town will choose a 
delegate or delegates to attend at a county convention that 
is appointed to be holden at Hatfield on Tuesday, the 22d 
of x\ug. inst. at 10 A. M. at the house of Col. Seth Mur- 
ray, to see if a constitutional way of relief, or some legal 
method cannot be proposed, for the security and safety of 
the good people of this commonwealih, against the burdens 
and distresses that prevail at the present day." Capt. Bul- 
len was chosen to go to the convention. David Brown, 
Isaac Pepper, and Daniel Gould were chosen a committee 
to give directions to Capt. Bullen. In Nov. Isaac Pepper 
was chosen delegate to a convention at Hadley, and in Jan. 
1787, to another at Hatfield. 

In Jan. 1787, the town voted the following list of griev- 
ances, probably the same voted by the convention. 

" 1. The fee table as it now stands. 


2. The present appropriation of the impost and excise 

3. The unreasonable grants made to some of the offi- 
cers of government. 

4. The supplementary code. 

5. The present mode of paying government securities. 

6. The present mode of taxation, as it operates unequal- 
ly betwixt the mercantile and landed interest. 

7. The want of a medium of trade to remedy the evil 
arising from the scarcity of money. 

8. The General Court, sitting in the town of Boston 

9. The suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus re- 

10. The Riot Act repealed. 

11. Voted to have the Constitution revised. 

12. Voted to have the C. C. Pleas abolished. 

Voted to send a petition to the General Court for a re- 
dress of grievances, chose a committee of five men to make 
a draft of a Petition, chose Isaac Pepper, Lieut. Cummings, 
Mr. Samuel Dunsmore, Capt. Brakenridge, and Mr. "Wil- 
ham Paige. 

Voted to send three men as a committee to General Lin- 
coln and Capt. Shays, to consult on some measures for 
peace, chose Capt. Brakenridge, Mr. Parker, and Moses 

Voted that this town do not allow of any property being 
brought and kept in this town as prizes, except the person 
bring a receipt, that possesses said property, from the com- 
mander of the department from whence such properly is 
brought, that they have a right to the same. 

Voted that this town, as a town, do not allow of any 
sleighs, horses or persons being slopped on the public roads 
by any persons." 

On the whole, the people here appear to have been more 
patriotic tharj many others. 

Afier the disturbances growing out of the Shays war were 
passed, the oath of allegiance to the government was requir- 
ed to be taken by town officers, and for several years it was 
copied into the records and signed, by those of whom it was 
required. It will be a curiosity to some. 

" I, A. B., do truly and sincerely acknowledge, profess, 
testify and declare, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is 
and of right ought to be a free, sovereign and independent 


ance to the said Commonvveallh, and that I will defend the 
same against traitorous conspiracies, and all hostile attempts 
whatsoever, and that I do renounce and abjure all allegiance 
subjection and obedience to the king or government of Great 
Britain, (as the case may be) and every other foreign prince 
whatsoever, and that no foreign prince, person, prelate, 
state or potentate, haih, or ought to have, any jurisdiction, 
superiority, pre-eminence, authority, dispensing, or other 
power, in any matter, civil ecclesiastical or spirimal within 
this commonwealth, except the authority and power which is 
or may be vested by their constituents in the Congress of 
the United Stales, and do further testify and declare, that 
no man or body of men hath or can have any right to absolve 
or discharge me from the obligation of this oath, declaration 
or affirmation, and that I do make this acknowledgment, pro- 
fession, testimony, declaration, denial, renunciation and ab- 
juration heartily and truly, according to the common mean- 
ing and acceptation of the foregoing words, without any 
equivocation, mental evasion or secret reservation, whatso- 
ever. So help me God." 

In May 1787, Mr. Daniel Gould was chosen to repre- 
sent the town in the Great and General Court. "Chose a 
committee of five to instruct the representative, chose Capl. 
Brakenridge, William Paige, Deacon Smith, William Snell, 
and Lieut. Brown for said committee." 

March 31, 17SS. " Voted to have a Justice of Peace 
in town, made choice of Mr. Isaac Pepper for said Justice. 
Voted that the selectmen make a j'eturn to the Governor 
and Council as soon as may be." No conmiission was giv- 
en to him, nor does any justice appear to have been appoint- 
ed until William Bowdoin was commissioned in 1801. 

At the election Apr. 178S, the votes for Governor were 
for Elbridge Gerry 37, John Plancock 15. 

About this time it seems to have been the custom to warn 
all new comers to the town to depart, to prevent their ob- 
taining a legal settlement and becoming cliargeable to the 
town. In March 1765, the town voted to allow William 
Bell for warning out several and carrying out some, twelve 
shillings, and to Abraham Cummings for warning out Job 
Smith one shilling. In 1790, there is upon record a war- 
rant duly served by the Constable, in which he is directed to 
warn fifty-one persons, giving their names, "who have come 
into this town for the purpose of abiding therein not having 
the town's consent, to depart the limits thereof with their 


children and all under them, within fifteen days." Among 
the names are some, who afterwards became substantial citi- 
zens, and whose children and grandchildren are now living 
here in as comfortable circumstances as any of us. 

Apr. 7, 1794. " Voted to choose a committee of seven 
to make a list of those persons who are subject to be warned 
out of town agreeable to the laws of this commonwealth and 
to report the same at the next town meeting." This is the 
last record referring to that custom, which was changed 
about time by the course of legislation. 

The records of the town show that the people never have 
been rich. The support of paupers for many years was a 
large part of the business in town meetings. The same 
custom existed here as in other places of putting up the 
poor at auction in open town meeting to be supported by the 
lowest bidder. Like some other things we find to disap- 
prove in the customs of our fathers, this has gone out of 
use. The town has now a farm, where a comfortable home 
is provided for the poor. 

Some extracts from the records will show the mode of 
doing business in those days. At every meeting from the 
organization of the Precinct, it was a standing vote that 
"swine should run at large with yokes and rings." 

May 1782. " Voted that Capt. Brakenridge as a com- 
mittee agree with Rev. IMr. Tuttle to supply the pulpit for 
one year, on condition that if the town can get a young man 
upon probation, Mr. Tuttle to give way." 

Apr. 19. 1757. " Voted to hire preaching for this sum- 
mer. Voted to raise upon the polls and estates, the sum of 
£13 6s. Sd. for preaching and boarding of ministers and 
going after ministers. Voted Joseph Foster to go after min- 
isters. Voted John Downing to provide a Law Book." 

March 1784. " Voted to employ Mr. Tuttle one year 
or until a young man can be employed in the town." 

March 1735. The town voted " to adopt Dr. Watts' 
Psalms and Hymns to be sung in this congregation.* Voted 
that they begin next Sabbath." 

Previous to this, Tate and Brady or Sternhold and Hopkins 
had been used, and the change was made while Rev. Jere- 
miah Hallock was preaching here and probably through his 
influence. The chorister was chosen by the town, and the 

* The article in the warrant was, " To see if the Congregation will 
concur with the Church in adopting Docter Watts' aversion of Pslams 
and Hymns, to be sung in public worship." 


custom was for the whole congregation to join in singing the 
deacon reading one line at a time. 

March 1790, the record says, " made choice of Dr. 
Rufus King, Solomon Bush, and iMr. George Brakenridge, 
Queristers, for the year ensuing. Voted that the deacon 
read one verse or more at a tirne according as the tune may 
require." Tliis was advancing one degree. 

When the practice first obtained for the singers to sit in 
the gallery by themselves, it was strenuously opposed. 
Some would leave the house rather than listen to such pro- 
fane singing. 

Solomon Howe came into this town from Worcester 
CouHty. He is spoken of in Mr. Draper's History of 
Spencer, as " a celebrated teacher of music, and as having 
effected such a reform in Church music in that place, that 
the singers were allowed to sit together, and the front part of 
the gallery was appropriated to their use."* 

* At this place the speaker paused, the audience rose and sang in 
the tune St. Martin's, the following, which was read a line at a time 
by Deacon Joseph Cummings, the great grand son of Deacon Jacob 
Cummings, the first deacon of the first Church. 


Old Scotch Version. 

Compare this with Dr. Watts'' version of the savie Psalm, " Let chil- 
dren hear the mighty deeds," SfC. and the improvement in versification 
will be apparent. 

1 My mouth shall speak a parable, 

and sayings dark of old : 
The same which we have heard and known, 
and us our fathers told. 

2 We also will not them conceal 

from their posterity ; 
Them to the generation 
to come declare will we : 

3 The praises of the Lord our God, 

and his almighty strength. 
The wondrous works that he hath done, 
We will show forth at length. 

4 His testimony and his law 

in Isr'el he did place, 
And charg'd our fathers it to show 
to their succeeding race ; 

5 That so the race which was to come 

might them well learn and know ; 
And sons unborn, who should arise, 
might to their sons them show : 


6 That they might set their hope in God, 
and suffer not to fall 
His mighty works out of their mind : 
but keep his precepts all. 

In 1800, the meeting house was built in the middle of the 
town, the frame of which has been recently modeled into a 
pleasant and commodious house. In April, 1801, "chose 
Capt. Wm. Doane to see that the deck of the cupola is 
corked and made tight, so as to prevent the water from 
penetrating through, and also to finish glazing said cupola and 
other panes of glass which are broken in the meeting house, 
and fasten the upper casements of the windows so as to pre- 
vent them from making an interruption in time of public 

" Nov. 2, 1801 . Voted, that the front door of the meet- 
ing house be bolted as soon as the speaker hath entered." 

" May, 1810. Voted, to raise fifty dollars to be appro- 
priated to the instruction of singers, and that those who be- 
long to Mr. Burt's society receive their proportion of said 
fifty dollars." 

In Sept. 1807. " Voted that there may be a Bell plac- 
ed upon the deck of the cupola in this town, upon some 

" Voted not to choose a committee to receive subscrip- 
tions. Voted that Isaac Pepper, Rufus King, Benjamin 
Paige, Ebenezer Titus, Benjamin Davis, Nathaniel R. An- 
dpfson, Gould Parsons, Isaac Pepper, Jr., Samuel Conkey, 
William Paige, Jr.. Thomas Patrick, and Waters Allen, 
together with such as shall hereafter become subscribers, 
have liberty to hang a bell upon the deck of the cupola in 
this town, provided the bell be purchased and hung upon 
said deck free from any cost or expense upon said town 
either by lax or otherwise.". 

The reason of this extreme caution was, that Isaac Pep- 
per, who headed the movement, had sometimes led the town 
into awkward predicaments, and in a measure lost their con- 
fidence. When the n)eeting house was built in 1800, he 
with others procured liberty of the town to erect a cupola 
upon it, a subscription was raised, the fiame put up and fas- 
tened to the house, and ihe town (old they were at liberty to 
finish it or not as they chose. This was called " a right 
Pepper Irick,^^ an expression not entirely gone out of use 

No bell was placed upon the church until after Mr. Reed's 
settlement in 1826. 


Dec. 15, 1828. " Voted to give leave to have stoves 
erected in the meeting house in the centre of the town, if it 
be done without expense to tlie town." 

After the factories were buih, an attempt was made to 
change the name of the town. In Jan. 1825, " Voted lo 
petition lo have the name of the town changed to Water- 
ford." It does not seem to have been prosecuted. In 
May, 1327, " Voted to raise a committee of five to peti- 
tion the LegishUure to survey a Rail Road from Boston to 
the Hudson River in the stale of New York. Chose Aiphe- 
us Demond, Homer Bartlett, William Bowdoin, Thomas 
Snell, and Benjamin Paige." About this time there was 
some difficulty between the village and the old parish. An 
attempt was made by the village to be incorporated as a 
town, which was opposed. x\.t the election of Representa- 
tive in 1828, the closest contest was had that ever existed 
here, which seems to have been hinged upon this controver- 
sy. Aaron Gould had 170 voles, Foster Marsh, 170, 
Joseph Cummings 1. Whereupon the town voted not to 
send that year. The matter was adjusted by defining the 
the lines between the parishes, and the Village was incorpo- 
rated as the East Congregational Society. The parish lines 
began at Samuel Gould's south-east corner, by Palmer line, 
and on his line to Ware River, ihence up the river to Mud- 
dy Brook, up Muddy Brook to the old road to New Brain- 
tree, north of J. Hartwell's farm, thence on that road to 
the turn east of Nathan Coney's, thence to Darius Eaton's 
north line, and on that to Brookfield. 

The alteration of the Constitution, making the support of 
religion a voluntary thing, ia 1833, rendered parish lines of 
no value. 


The first action of the town upon the subject of schools 
as appears by the records was in Jan'y. 1757, when it was 
" Voted to Devid ye Peraish into two parts for a scool, and 
flat Brook to be ye deviding Line." 

" Voted Joseph Scott to take care of the West part. 
Voted William Brackenridge to take care of the East Part. 

At this time no money was raised for schools, nor does 
any appear to have been raised for any other purpose tiian 
for preaching until after the incorporation of the town in 


1762. At the first town meeting it was voted to divide the 
town into four quarters, by a line running East and West 
by the meeting house, and by flat brook. North and South. 
" Voted to Raies twelve pounds for Skoling. Voted that 
Eatch Quarter shall Skool out there part within the year or 
be forfit." The same sum was granted the next year. In 
1771, only four pounds were raised. In 1772 it was raised 
to fourteen pounds. In 1774 fifteen pounds were granted. 
For several years no money was raised for schools. The 
town meetings were occupied mostly in providing soldiers 
for the Revolutionary army, and in paying them and provid- 
ing for their families. 

In 1782 twenty pounds were raised for schools, the dis- 
tricts to remain as formerly. In 1785 it was voted to divide 
the town into six districts, and determined where the school 
houses should be located. No provision for houses seems 
to have been made before. The same year thirty pounds 
were raised for schools. In 1787, thirty-six pounds were 
raised to build school houses. In 1791, twelve pounds 
were raised to build a school house in the middle of the 

In 1794, forty-eight pounds were granted for schools. 
This was during the ministry of the Rev. Reuben Moss wlw 
did much to raise the character of the schools, as well as the 
tone of morals and public sentiment. For nearly twenty 
years it is thought by some, not a teacher was employed from 
out of town, while all the neighbouring towns sought teach- 
ers here. Hon. Joseph Cummings taught seven winters in 
New Braintree, receiving f 20 per month, being much more 
than was usually paid in those times. 

In 1797, the town voted to divide the school money into 
eight p.irts, ten pounds to each district. Eighty pounds, or 
$266,67. In 1805, $320. In 1814, $400. In 1825, 
$600. In 1830, $790. In 1835, $800. In 1836, $1000. 
In 1840, $1250. Since which time $1100 has been grant- 
ed. The town has been for many years divided into ten 
districts. At the present time more than half of the scho- 
lars are in the first or village District. 

The town has now the number of families required by 
law to support a grammar school, and the provision of a 
room in this house, for such a school, is an indication of 
better days for the education of our youth. No school ha? 
ever been maintained for any length of time, of a higher 
grade than our district schools, and our town the last year 
stood as low as 207, among the 308 towns in the Stale in 


its provision for schools. This year $1600 has been grant- 
ed for schools. 

We have not furnished a large number of students for 
the Colleges. A'few however have sprung up here, that have 
pushed their way through College, gained credit to them- 
selves and to their native town. 

The first one that studied a profession was the Hon. 
William Bowdoin, a son of William Bowdoin, Esq. He 
did not go to College, but read law with the Hon. Samuel 
Fowler Dickinson of Amherst, and for thirty years, has 
practised law at South Hadley. The Honorary degree of 
A. M. was conferred upon him at Williams College in 1S32. 
He has represented this county in the State Senate for 
two years— 1840 and 184 1. 

Emerson Davis, son of Dea. Enos Davis, was graduated 
at Williams* College, 1821. He is now settled as minister 
of Westfield. 

John Dunbar, son of John Dunbar, was graduated at 
Williams' College, 1832. He is now a missionary among 
the Pawnee Indians. 

Isaac Wethrell, son of Thomas Wethrell, graduated at 
Amherst College, in 1832. He is now teaching in Ban- 
gor, Me. 

William Paige Davis, son of Benjamin Davis, was grad- 
uated at Union College, 1823. He is now settled as min- 
ister in Princeton, N. \. 

Joshua Pearl, son of John ]M. Pearl, was graduated at 
Yale College, 1836. He is now Principal of the Natchez 
Institute in Mississippi. 

Porter Snow, son of Dea. Eli Snow, was in Amherst 
College, in the class graduated in 1837, left before grad- 
uating, and is now a minister in Baltimore, Md. 

Loranus Crowell, son of Joshua Crowell, graduated at 
the Wesleyan University, Middletown, Ct., in 1840, is a 
Methodist minister, now stationed in Cabotville. 

Thomas Snell Norton, son of Allen Norton, was grad- 
uated at Amherst College, 1840. He is now settled as 
minister in Sullivan, N. H. 

William Snell, son of Thomas Snell, at Amherst, 1840. 
Ebenezer Snell his brother, was in the same class, but 
died just before he completed the course. 

Loring B. Marsh, son of Foster Marsh, at Yale College, 
in 1840, now a Home Missionary in Iowa. 

Samuel H. Allen, son of Chester Allen, was graduated 
at Amherst, 1841, now minister at Windsor Locks, Ct. 


Aaron Walker, son of Aaron Walker, at Amherst. 
1841.. He is now a teacher in Charlestown. 

David Gould Sherman, son of Thomas Sherman, grad- 
uated at Yale College, 1S4J. Teacher in Natchez Insti- 
tute, Miss. 

Daniel Lyman Shearer, son of John Shearer, graduated 
at Yale College, 1S42, now in business in Boston. 

John Hartwell, son of Joseph Ilartwell, at Amherst, 
1843, now a physician in Boston. 

Samuel Dexter Marsh, son of Foster Marsh, at Yale 
College, 1844, — expects soon to join the South African 

Charles Demond, son of Alpheus Demond, Esq., at Wil- 
liams College, 1844. He is now reading law. 

These are not all natives of the town, but went from here 
to College. 

At the present time I am not aware that we have a single 
student in any of the colleges. 


No roads appear to have been laid out previous to the in- 
corporation of the town. The inhabitants made use of such 
as nature had provided, with very small improvements. It 
appears that the road from Brookfield to Hadley pas?ed 
through this town. It passed over the summit of Coy's hill, 
(a high ridge between this town and Brookfield and Warren,) 
down by the Coneys, and crossed the river at the old bridge 
place, nearly a mile above the village, passing down the 
west side of the pond near the village, crossing Muddy 
Brook at the present bridge between the parishes, then by 
the old Downing place, on Dr. Goodrich's land, and nearly 
by the present road to the Swift River bridge, near Samuel 
Lemmon's. This was probably used in 1660, when the 
first settlements were made at Brookfield. 

The first bridge across the river in the village was nearly 
opposite the large stone factory. Tinjbers were laid across 
the rocks near the new grist mill for foot passengers, but no 
permanent bridge was erected there until after the factories 
were built. At that time, the only road to Brookfield was 


over the Coney hill. It cost twenty dollars per ton for trans- 
portation of goods from Boston, and it was a hard week's 
work, for a lefiin to go and return. 

The road from Swift River to New Braintree was the 
important road, passing through the centre of the town and 
over the hill, by the old Durant place, crossing Muddy 
Brook, at the bridge now used between the parishes, and 
passing north of Capt. Hartvvell's farm. A considerable 
portion of it has been discontinued. 

When stages first passed through Ware from Brookfield 
to Northampton, they passed along the southern border of 
the town, crossing the river near Gideon Lamberton's. It 
was upon this road Dr. Dwight passed through a corner of 
the town in 1810, when he wrote the following notice: 
" Ware borders on Belchertown south-eastward. Its soil 
is generally of a very inferior quality. A traveller formerly 
passing through this town observed, that he thought the 
land was like self-righteousness; for the more he had of it, 
the poorer he would be." 

The first Post-Office was established in 1815, at the 
house now occupied by Samuel M. Lemmon. Timothy 
Babcock was appointed Post-master. In 1824, the office 
was removed to the Village, and Joseph Cummings appoint- 
ed. He was succeeded by Joel Rice in 1832. In 1840, 
Lewis Babcock was appointed. He was succeeded by An- 
sel Phelps, Jr. in 1843. The present incumbent, Addison 
Sandford was appointed in 1845. 

The gross receipts of the office for the first quarter after 
it was established in the village in 1824, were $44,41. The 
receipts for the quarter ending March 31, 1847, were 


In 1790 . 

. 773 

1830 . 

. 2045 

" 1800 . 

. 997 

1837 . 

. 2403 

" 1810 . 

. 996 

1840 . 

. 1890 

" 1820 . 

, 1154 

The last census was taken at a period of great depression 
in manufactures, — when most of the mills were still. The 
population is supposed now to be 3000. 



The excellent water power in this town caused it to be 
settled earlier perhaps, than the quality of the soil would 
have done. The Ware River originates in the western part 
of Worcester County, draining most of the country west of 
the Wachusett, and is supplied partly frou) ponds, which, 
with the great extent of open country drained by it, gives it 
a character of stability not gained by mountain streams.* 
It enters Ware at the north-east corner, and goes out near 
the South-west, keeping near the Eastern and Southern 
boundary. It receives three considerable tributaries here, 
which traverse the town from Hardvvick and Enfield on the 
north. Flat Brook, very near the middle of the town. Muddy 
Brook, on the East, and Beaver Brook on the West, divide 
the town into four nearly equal parts. 

The falls at the village afford a fine power, the river fall- 
ing more than seventy feet in less than that number of rods. 
On these falls mills were erected by Capt. Jabez Olmstead 
probably as early as 1730, or soon after. His heirs sold 
the property to Isaac IVIagoon; from him it passed to his 
son Alexander in 1765. At this time a grist mill and saw mill 
stood here which were extensively known as Magoon's mills. 

In April 1813, the mills with about 400 acres of the 
Olmstead tract, covering the whole territory of the village 
and West to Muddy Brook, was sold by James Magoon, 
a grandson of Alexander, to Alpheus Demond, Esq., and 
Col. Thomas Denny for $4,500. Mr. Demond came here 
the same year, rebuilt the dam now standing on the middle 
falls, repaired the saw mill and grist mill, and started two 
carding machines. The house now occupied by John Gil- 
more and the store of J. Hartwell were built the same year. 

In 1814, he built the old tavern house, the old yellow 

* The Indian name of the River, " Nenameseck," probably means 
a Fishing Basket, or a place where fish were taken in Baskets, being 
compoundedof " Namohs," a fish, and " Manseck," a basket. The 
Falls were a great resort for fishing, by the Indians, — who used bas- 
kets or traps in taking salmon, which formerly abounded here, and 
have been taken by some of the present generation. Indian names 
are usually significant. The " Connecticut," is the Long River, — the 
" Housatonic," the river over, or beyond the Mountain." 


barn which then stood near where the Post Office now is, 
and the old cotton mill, still standing. He also commenced 
building machinery. Col. Denny died at Leicester, in Dec. 
IS 14. The same month the treaty of peace was signed at 
Ghent. These two events threw a dark cloud over the 
prospects for manufacturing here, as the latter did through 
the country. At that time no factories existed in this part 
of the state, except a small one at Worcester and one at 
Monson. The power loom was not then known, and the 
design was to make yarn to be put out to be wove in the 
hand looms. 

The factory stood still till April 1821, when the property 
was sold to Holbrook and Dexter, of Boston, including mill, 
machinery, and land, for about $15,000, at a loss to the for- 
mer owners of about Si 2,000. These gentlemen soon form- 
ed a company of Boston capitalists, including the Dexters and 
Amorys, the Greens and Tappans, and went on to complete 
the mill. In 1S23, the brick store and the woolen mill, about 
half its present size, were built. In 1824 the large mill was 
built to take the water from the upper fall. This was 27 I feet 
long, and but one story high above the basement, with an at- 
tic. To prepare the foundation, canal, wheel-pits and race- 
ways, was an expensive undertaking, much of it being rock 
excavation. The plans were on a large scale, but proved 
ill-judged. The capital of the Wave Co. was $600,000, 
incorporated in 1S23. It never made a dividend. 

In IS29, the property was transferred to the Hampshire 
Mfg. Co. at a nominal value of $300,000. To this $100- 
000 was afterwards added. In the general wreck in 1837, 
the Hampshire Co. failed; an actual dividend never having 
been made to the stockholders either from the earnings or 
the capital. 

In Aug. 1839, the cotton mills passed into the hands of 
the Otis Co. In June 1845, the long mill, built in 1824, 
was destroyed by fire. The Otis Co. had already com- 
menced the erection of a stone mill 200 feet long, five sto- 
ries high, and immediately rebuilt one upon the site of the 
one burned, of the same dimensions of the stone mill. 
These are now nearly in full operation, which with the old 
cotton mill and the small one near it, have GOO looms, with 
nearly 20,000 spindles, and will consume about 1,000,000 
lbs. of cotton annually', and give employment to about 650 
hands. The Otis Co. has shared fully in the success that 
has attended manufacturers for the few past years. Its cap- 


ital is $350,000. The mills erected during the last two 
years, one of brick, the other of dark granile, are not ex- 
ceeded in beauty or convenience of arrangements. 

In 1841, Messrs. Gilbert & Stevens came from Andover 
and purchased of the assignees of the Hampshire Co., the 
woolen mill and other property on the South side of the 
river. This mill had been enlarged to its present size by 
the Hampshire Co., and furnished by them with seven sets 
of new machinery in 1836. The mill was still most of the 
time after 1837, till Oct. 1841, when it was started by the 
present proprietors. In the summer of 1846, they erected 
a new stone mill, five stories high 80 feet by 50, with four 
sets of machinery on a fall below what had before been oc- 
cupied. Their mills will consume about 300,000 pounds of 
Wool annually, and employ about 200 hands. The enter- 
prise and skill of these gentlemen well deserve the success 
which has attended ihetn. 

The Hampshire Manufacturers' Bank was incorporated in 
1825, with a capital of $100,000. In 1836 its capital was 
increased to $150,000. 


The great change which the habits] of the people have 
undergone within a few years on this subject, seems to jus- 
tify a particular notice, confining "myself pretty closely to 
the records. 

May 9, 1768. " Voted to raise two pounds to pro- 
vide Rumb for the raising the Bridge over Ware river." 

March 1784, " Voted to pay James Lemmon for six jour- 
neys to Belchertown and two quarts of Rum, thirteen shil- 
lings and six pence." 

In 1787,] (Shays' War times), a grievous difficulty arose 
with the Rev. Mr. Judd, the minister. The vote for dis- 
missing him was 63 to 13. The matter was referred to an 
ecclesiastical council, and the town voted to join with the 
church in paying the cost. " Voted Aug. 27th to allow Wil- 
liam Paige for sundry articles, viz., ninepence a meal for 
169 meals; two pence a lodging for 85 lodgings; for keep- 
ing 61 horses twenty-four hours, four pence per horse." 


" Voted to allow three shillings and sixpence per gallon 
for four gallons of rum." 

Again, Oct. 22, " Voted to allow William Paige for 
keeping the Ecclesiastical Council, which is as follows, viz., 
seven pence per meal 212 meals, two pence a lodging 68 
lodgings, four pence for keeping a horse 24 hours 76 horses, 
four gallons and a half of new rum, three shillings per gallon, 
two gallons of old rum, five shillings per gallon." This 
seems to have been the second council when they drank bet- 
ter rum and more of it. 

" Nov. 2, 1801. Voted that the selectmen give a gen- 
eral invitation to all the inhabitants of the town of Ware, 
to work on the road one or more days, leading from Swift 
River to the line of New Braintree/ree gratis, said select- 
men to find them what spirits they shall think necessary." 

These records will seem more strange to future genera- 
lions, we hope, than they do to us. We are yet in a tran- 
sition state, and can look back to strange times. 

At the time the factory operations commenced here, in 
1823, 1824, and 1825, the use of intoxicating drinks had 
reached a point probably never known before or since. Then 
all used them with scarce an exception. The labourers in 
the shops, on the buildings, at the dam and canal had eve- 
ry man his bottle. It was nothing uncommon to draw a 
hogshead of rum, and sometimes two, daily, at the factory 
Store; not all for our inhabitants, for large quantities went 
north in exchange for lumber and other materials brought in. 

In 1826, the temperance reform began, and was early en- 
gaged in by the ministers, agents and principal men of the 
place. In 1833, the election of representatives turned up- 
on this question, and though the candidates of the tempe- 
rance men were defeated, they proposed and carried the fol- 
lowing resolutions: 

" Nov. 11th, 1833. ]\[oved that we instruct our Repre- 
sentatives to use their influence to obtain a revision of the 
License Laws in such a manner as to promote the great 
moral reform now going on through the agency of temper- 
ance Societies. 

1. Resolved that our Representatives use their influence 
for such a modification of the License Laws, as shall make 
it penal for any one to sell ardent spirits to the town inhabi- 
tants on the sabbath. 

2. That they use their influence for the alteration of said 
License Laws in such a manner as to keep pace with public 


opinion in relation to the retailing of ardent spirits, and that 
when a majority of the Inhabitants of any town in tiiis corn- 
raonwealih shall vote in legal town meeting that no retailer 
in said town is necessary, oilier than for medical purposes, 
such vote to be a bar to such license within said town." 
<■' Mar. 2, 1835, Resolved: — 

1. As the sense of this meeting, that no retailer of ar- 
dent spirits is necessary in this town the present year, and 
ought not to be licensed; carried 157 to 40. 

2. Resolved, that the sense of this meeting be obtained 
whether Inn-holders to sell ardent spirits in this town are 
necessary, if so, how many. 

Voted that it is inexpedient to have any Inn-holders to 
sell ardent spirits in this town the present year." 

" March, 1S36. Voied that the selectmen be instructed 
not to approbate any person to retail any spirits or intoxi- 
cating liquors the present year." Since which time with the 
exception of one single year, no one has received an appro- 
bation from the selectmen to sell intoxicating drinks in this 


Some brief notices of the early settlers, will close what 
I propose to offer, and these must necessarily be imperfect. 
I have not the advantage of being a native of the town, nor 
of a long residence, but have availed myself of such means 
as were within my reach. The evidence of living witnes- 
ses, the records of the town and church, ancient deeds and 
papers, and the tomb-stones of the dead, have furnished 
the materials from which I have gleaned. 

Capt. Jabez Olmstead is supposed to have come from 
Brookfield, and to have made the first permanent settlement 
here in 1729. Of his former history, I can learn but little. 
He must have been a man of property, as he paid £400 
for the tract he purchased here, as appears by the deed. 
He is described as '' of Brookfield, in the county of Hamp- 
shire." When that town was incorporated, in 1718, it was 
" agreed the said town to lye to the county of Hampshire," 
where it continued to belong, till Worcester county was es- 
tablished, in 1731. Tradition represents Capt. Olmstead 


to have been a man of great shrewdness and energy, and 
that Indian blood ran in his veins. He was a mighty hun- 
ter, and is said to have been an officer in the expedition 
against Louishourg, upon the island of Cape Breton, in 
1745. The following anecdote is related of him. On the 
return of the army to Boston from Louisbourg, he was in- 
vited with the officers to dine with Gov. Shirley. The pud- 
ding he found to be too hot; and taking it fron) his mouth, 
and laying it upon the side of his plate, he said he would 
keep it to light his pipe with. 

He had two sons, Jsrael and Jeremiah. To the oldest, 
100 acres of the Elbow tract was granted, adjoining his farm. 
Tliey both married and had children, of whom 1 have no 
further knowledge. He had one daughter, Hannah, who 
married Judah Marsh. He does not appear to have taken 
a very active part in town affairs. 

John Post, the first Precinct clerk, was a relative of 01m- 
stead, and lived upon the farm now owned by Joseph Hart- 
well, which was part of Olrnstead's purchase. His wife's 
death is recorded here March 20, 1745. 

Isaac Magoon came from Ireland with the colony that 
settled in Palmer in 1727. The farm allotted to him by the 
commiitee of the Legislaturt^, was at the South East cor- 
ner of the Read Manor. He built where Haskell Cum- 
mings now lives. Isaac Jr. lived where Josephus Laiuber- 
ton now lives. They owned a large tract, about 700 acres 
in the strip of land between the south Hue of the manor and 
the south line of the town. Isaac Magoon Jr. afterwards 
bought of Capt. Olrnstead's heirs, the mills and the tract of 
land m the village, about 600 acres. He had two sons, 
Alexander, who lived at the mills, and Isaac, who lived 
where Haskell Cummings now lives. Isaac married Lu- 
creiia, daughter of John Downing, and had thirteen chil- 
dren. One son, Dr. Isaac Magoon, is now living in Mich- 
igan. One daughter, Mrs. Eliphalet Marsh is now living 
here. Allen Grover's first wife was another daughter. Al- 
exander had two sons, Isaac, who died on the Red River, 
Sept. 1808, and Alexander, who died in Salem, N. York. 
Isaac's son James married JMehitabel Ellis, a daughter of 
Ebenezer Gould, in 1810, and is now living in Illinois. 
Isaac lives in Bloomington, Iowa. Mrs. Marsh and her chil- 
dren, Chester and Diadaina, are the only descendants left in 
town, of a family as numerous as any other here probably, one 
hundred years ago, and possessing about 1,400 acres of the 
best land in the town. 


Jacob Cummings came from Killingly, Ct. soon after the 
first settlements were made, and was tlie most prominent 
man in the Precinct and town for many years. He was 
one of the first deacons in the church, acted as moderator 
of the first meeting of the Parish, was one of the Precinct 
Corntnitiee, and when the town was incorporated in 1762, 
one of the first board of selectmen, and town treasurer. 
He bought, probably of Stewart Southgate, the farm now 
owned by Joel Rice, Esq., and the one owned by his great- 
grand-son, the Hon. Joseph Cummings. He had five sons, 
Jacob, Benjamin, Abraham, Isaac and Solomon. Jacob 
had no sons that lived to have a family. Abraham's daugh- 
ter Hannah married Thomas McClintock, the father of 
Benjamin and Levans Mc Clintock. Jerusha, another daugh- 
ter, married Thomas Bacon, in 1780. 

Benjamin had three sons, Daniel, Simeon and Joseph. 
Daniel died young. Simeon had two sons, Simeon and 
Nichols, the latter went into the State of N. York. Sime- 
on had four sons and one daughter, now living here, Lewis 
G., William, Simeon and Nichols, and the wife of Dfjniel 
Dunbar, 2nd. 

Joseph married Temperance Nye in 1775, had seven 
sons and four daughters. One son died young. Benjamin 
now hves in North Brookfield. Simeon died in this town. 
Hon. Joseph and Haskell now live here, Braddish in Illi- 
nois, and Estes in New Haven. Jacob Cummings died 
Feb. 27, 1776, aged S3. His posterity of the sixth gene- 
ration are present with us to-day, inheriting the possessions 
with the blessing of a pious ancestor. Benjamin his son, 
died Dec. 14, 1805, aged 87. Joseph, son of Benjamin, 
died June 30, 1826, aged 73; his widow is still living, near- 
ly 90 years of age. 

John Davis came as is supposed, from Oxford, before 

1750, and settled where Samuel M. Lemmon now lives. 
He was chosen deacon when the church was formed in 

1751, and was one of the first board of Selectmen. He 
had four sons; Nathan, David, Josiah and Abijah. Nathan 
married a daughter of Jonathan Rogers, who kept a tav- 
ern where Robert Tucker now lives. He had sons, Na- 
than, Elihu, Enos the deacon, Pliny, Rodney who lives in 
Belchertown, and Leonard, who lives in Palmer. 

Enos married Submit Bush, daughter of Solomon Bush, 
in 1797, and had sons, Rev. Emerson Davis of Westfield, 
and Solomon B., now living here. 


William Brakenridge, who was the prominent man here 
for more than thirty years, one of the first board of Se- 
lectmen, and the first re()resentative to the Provincial Con- 
gress, and town clerk for eighteen years, came to this coun- 
try frofn Ireland, in 1727, when four years of age, with his 
father James, a native of Scotland, who was one of the 
first settlers of the Elbow tract. There is, in the Braken- 
ridge family an ancient manuscript music-book upon the fly- 
leaf of which is written, " JMr. Jacobus Breakenridge, 
His Music Book, made and taught per me, Robt. Cairnes, 
at Glenreavoll, Sept. 1715." Besides the scale and rudi- 
ments of music, it contains the date of his marriage, 1720, 
and the births of his children, giving the day, the hour, and 
the time in the moon, with other memoranda. On one page 
is written, " JVe departed from Ireland, July \6, 1727, and 
my child died on the 19lh of Jlug.'''' Another son was 
born in Nov. following, to whom the same name was 
given. His sons were James, who settled in Ware, after- 
wards removed to Bennington Vt., and went as minister to 
England, William, born Sept. 19, 1723, who settled in 
Ware in 1746, Francis and George who remained in Pal- 

William married Agnes Sinclair, who came with her pa- 
rents in the same vessel with him from Ireland, and had four 
sons, William, James, George and Francis. He took up 
about 1,000 acres of land on the north part of the Elbow 
grant, built a house in the centre, where the widow Francis 
Brakenridge now lives, and planted his four sons around him. 
His education was imperfect, but his native good sense, and 
sound judgment gave him a leading influence in the town. 

William married Thankful, a daugliter of Judah Marsh; 
had two sons, W illiam Sinclair, who is dead, and Judah 
Marsh, now living, where his faiher did. 

James married a daughter of William Coney, and had 
four sons; James, who is dead, Allender, now living, Reu- 
ben Moss, who is dead, and William, living where his father 

George married Persis Joslyn of New Braintree, and had 
six sons. Benjamin and Franklin now live in this town. 

Francis married Lydia Pepper, and had one son, Francis, 
who is dead. 

William Brakenridge died Feb. 16, 1807, aged 84. His 
grandsons inherit the lands and the stable virtues of their an- 



Judah Marsh came from Hatfield or Hadley, in 1730, 
and settled near the mills built by him, and now known as 
Marsh's ^lills. Thomas, Ephraim, Samuel and Joseph, 
who were here in 1742, were probably his brothers. He 
married a daughter of Capt. Jabez Olmstead, and had sons, 
Elij-HJ), Joel, Thomas, Jonathan, Judah and a second Joel. 

Thomas had four sons, none of whom are here. Jona- 
than had four sons. Jacob and Foster are now living here. 
Judah had five sons. Aaron and James Sullivan are now 
living here. Joel's son Joel S. is now living in Hardwick. 
Judah Marsh died May 7, lS01,aged 89. His posterity 
dwell upon ihe land upon which he settled in 1730. 

Samuel Sherman, one of the first board of selectmen, 
came from Rochester, and settled at first upon the farm 
now owned by William E. Bassett; he afterwards lived 
south of Benjamin Bond's. He married for a second wife, 
Jerusha Davis, by whom he inherited the farm now owned 
by Calvin Morse. He had by his first wife two sons, 
Thomas and Prince; and by his second, Reuben, Samuel 
and Ebenezer. Reuben is dead, has two sons, Thomas and 
Earl, living here. 

Ebenezer died in Ohio; has two daughters living here, 
the wives of Downing Gould and Edward Pope. 

Samuel Sherman died Feb. 5, 1811, aged 88. 

Deacon Thomas Jenkins lived where Seth Pierce now 
lives. He was a deacon indeed it seems; for the mild and 
serious rebuke he gave to the son of a neighbor who in- 
cautiously said " Ivow^\ in his presence, was never forgot- 
ten. He was one of the delegates to the Provincial Con- 
gress with Capt. Brakenridge. He has no descendants here. 

Deacon Maverick Sn)ith lived where Dauphin Harwood 
now lives. He has no descendants here. 

Joseph Foster lived between the village and Joseph 
Cunmiings'. He had a family of eight children, and was 
a man of character and influence, was one of the first dele- 
gates to the Provincial Congress, in 1775. I cannot learn 
whence he canrye, or whither he went, as no descendants 
of his live here. 

Samuel Dunsmore was a native of Ireland, and settled 
where Rufus Eaton now lives. His daughter Miriam mar- 
ried .lames Lamberton, and was the niother of Samuel D. 
Lamberton of Brookfield, and of Rufus Thrasher's wife. 

James Leu)mon came from Ireland, when four years of age, 
and settled on the farm now owned by his grandson Samuel 


Lemmon, in the Sonth-West part of the town. His moth- 
er was a sister of James Brakenridge, vAho settled in Pal- 
mer. His son James lived uhere ^liriain Lemmon dees. 
He was the only Irishman, it seems, tliat settled upon the 
manor. They usually sought the low meadow lands. 

John Downing came from Springfield, bought of Timo- 
thy Brown in 1752, and kept a tavern on the old road, west 
of Muddy brook, on land now owned by Dr. Goodrich. 
He had one son who was drowned June 10, 1771, while 
attempting to rescue Reuben Davis, who was also drown- 
ed. One daughter married Isaac Magoon, another David 

Deacon Daniel Gould came from Sharon in 1773, and 
settled where his son Aaron now lives. He was the first 
representative elected under the Constitution, and had much 
to do with town business. He had sons, Daniel, Lewis, 
Aaron and Seth; the last two are living here. He died 
July 10, 1834. 

David and Ehenezer his brothers, came soon after. Da- 
vid married Lovisa, daughter of John Downing, in 1780, 
and lived near where Benjamin Eaton now lives. He has 
sons, Sainuel, John and Downing, living here, and daugh- 
ters, the wives of Thomas Sherman, Joel Rice and Wil- 
liam S. Brakenridge. He died August 22, 1817, aged 67. 

Ebenezer Gould, married Mille, daughter of AV'illiam 
Coney, in 1782, and had sons, Leonard, who is dead, and 
Ebenezer who lives where his fathpr did. 

Deacon William Paige came from Hardwick in 1777, 
and lived where Samuel Holbrook now lives, formerly oc- 
cupied by Rev. Ezra Thayer. He had a son W^illiam, 
who died without issue, and eight daughters. One married 
Dr. Rufus King; one Benjamin Cummings; one Simeon 
Cummings; and one Azel Washburn. He died June 23d, 

Phille Morse came from Sharon soon after the town 
was incorporated. He married a daughter of W^illiam Co- 
ney, and lived upon the farm now owned by his son Cal- 
vin. Another son, Braddish, died young. A daughter 
married Prince Andrews; one, Calvin Ward, now in Illi- 
nois; and the youngest, David Lewis, and is not living. 

William Coney came from Sharon during the Revolution, 
and built his habitation among the rocks, where his sons 
William and Daniel now live. It was then in Brookfield; 
being colliers, they seem to have sought the wood rather than 
the land. His son, Capt. Oliver Coney, came earlier, and 


owned the farm where the widow of George Brakenridge 
now lives. He died Dec. 13, 1830, aged 81. 

John Tisdale came from Taunton in 1775, and settled 
at first in Greenwich, South Parish, now Enfield. He 
came into Ware, A|)ril 19, 1779, at which time, it is said, 
the apple trees were in full bloom, an indication of an earlier 
season than this. His son John Jr., was the father of Tim- 
othy, Thomas, Israel and James W., now living here. His 
oldest son was named John Read, after the lord of the 

Jeremiah Anderson was a native of Ireland, and came 
here soon after the Precinct was established, lived where 
Ebenezer Barlow now lives, in the N. E. corner of the 
town, and had a large family of eleven children. His son 
William was born Aug. 18, 1749, and lived near the cen- 
tre of the town. 

William's son Amasa was horn November 6, 1776, and 
married Thankful Brakenridge in 1802. Nathaniel^ was 
born June 15, 1783, and married Salome Snell, in IS 1 3, 
both of whom have children living here. Samuel D. was 
another son, who inherited Samuel Dunsmore's faru) for his 

Thomas Andrews was here quite early. John, Aaron 
and Prince were his sons, and have descendants here. 
Aaron married Betsey, daughter of Simeon Cummings. 
Prince married Clarissa Morse. 

James Lamberton was one of the original settlers in Pal- 
mer. He came from Ireland, and lived where Charles 
Shaw now does. He had sons, John, who was a bachelor, 
like his uncle John before him, James, Seth and David. 
James married a daughter of Samuel Dunsmore for his first 
wife, and lived on the farm now occupied by Baxter Gil- 
bert. He afterwards lived where Alfred and Gideon do, 
who are his sons by a second wife. 

Seth married Elizabeth Eddy of Brookfield, and lived 
where his son .Tosephus does. 

Dr. Edward Demond came here from Reading, and was, 
probably, the first physician here. The record of the births 
of his children begins in 1735, but some of them were prob- 
ably born before he came to this town. He lived where 
John Wetherell does, and had sons, Edward Thomas, 
Abraham and Stephen, and five daughters. A daughter mar- 
ried Elijah, son of Judah Marsh, in 1759. Edward Dem- 
ond is son of Thomas, and is now living here. 


Dr. Elias Bollon came from Mendon about 1780. Af- 
ter hitn was Dr. Walker who came from Windham, Scot- 
land Society Ct. He lived near the old Durant place, and 
remained here about six years. 

Dr. Rufus King came from Brookfield in 1789, and is 
still living, 80 years of age. 

William Bowdoin Esq. came here in infancy, about 1762. 
He is supposed to have been a natural son of a broth- 
er of Gov. Bowdoin, whose name he bore. He was 
raised in the family of Solomon Bush, near Marsh's 
mills, received his education in the common schools, and 
having a taste for reading, and a tact for business, be ac- 
quired a character and induence no other man ever gained 
in this town. He was chosen town clerk in 1789, and held 
the office for twenty-two years in succession. He was 
again elected in 1830, and held the office until bis death, 
Sept. 23, 1831. He represented the town eleven years in 
the Legislature, being the only one chosen frou) 1795 to 
1812, and was a delegate to the Convention for revising the 
Constitution, in 1820. In 1801, he was elected a Justice 
of the Peace, and did most of the business of that nature, 
in this town, for nearly thirty years. He wrote a very plain, 
legible hand, and the perfect state of the town records is 
owing, very much to his care. He transcribed the records 
of the births, deaths and marriages, by vote of the town, io 
1 789, which are very complete of some of the earlier families. 
He was twice married, and had fourteen children. His son, 
Hon. William Bowdoin of South Hadley, has been a mem- 
ber of the Senatefrom this County; James has been a 
Representative from New Braintree; John from this town; 
and Waller H. from Springfield. 

To recur for a moment to the occasion tbat has brought 
us together. While we rejoice in the erection of this build- 
ing as an ornament and convenience, let us do it with a prop- 
er consideration to the rights and privileges of those whose 
convenience will not be promoted by the change in the place 
of holding our town meetings. Probably two-thirds of the 
inhabitants in town, reside within a mile of this hall. We 
are bringing matters back to their former slate, as we have 
learned the first meetings were held in the " Great House " 
in this part of the town. 

This town has always been marked by a more than ordi- 
nary degree of barmony and stability in its public affairs. 


In order to maintain this character, we must be willing to 
concede to all their rights. Because a prosperous business 
has given to this village the power and influence, to some 
extent, I trust we shall never seem disposed to take the Li- 
on's share. To dwell in peace, tliere must be mutual con- 
cession. Sectional jealousies must be suppressed. The 
schools, the roads and the poor require our care, as a town. 
Let us be liberal in providing for them. 

The manufacturing establishmenis may, in some cases, 
increase the expenses of the town, but they pay too, a laige 
pro[)ortion of the taxes. They furnish a home market for 
our surplus produce. They pay for labor, about $175,000 
annually, which finds its way to the merchants, the mechan- 
ics and the farmers. We have known how things looked 
when the wheels did not move. The present success of 
manufacturers here should not excite our jealousy. We 
have learned that $700,000 have been planted here by other 
hands, which, wiih all the care and toil of nearly fifteen 
years, have yielded no fruit but disappointment. It was not 
the fault of the place, nor altogether in the management. 
The experiment began early here. We have passed through 
deep waters, and through fire, and are looking better now 
than ever. 

I believe it to be the duty, as it is the right of all, to 
attend town meetings. We al! have an interest in the busi- 
ness of the town. But if any will stay away, and dislike 
what is done by ihose who go, they should hold their peace. 

May we discharge our duiies, mindful that ihey may be 
reviewed by future generations, as we have looked back to- 
day, and remecnhering our accountabiliiy to Him " who 
keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him, and 
keep his commandments, to a thousand generations." 




John Post, chosen 


William Paige, chosen 1787. 

Jacob Cummings, " 


William Bowdoin, 


John Davis, " 


Leonard Gould, ' 

' 1811. 

Thnothy Brown, " 


Joel Rice, 


Jacob Cummings, " 


Leonard Gould, ' 


WilHam Brakenridge, " 


Joel Rice, ' 

' 1828. 

Maverick Smith, " 


William Snow, ' 


William Brakenridge, " 


William Bowdoin, ' 

' 1830. 

Abraham Cummings, " 


Leonard Gould, ' 


David Brown, " 


George W. Porter, ' 

' 1832. 

Thomas Tufts, " 


.Jason Gorham, ' 


David Brown, " 


Lewis Demond, ' 

' 1839. 


In the years not named, the town was not represented. 

JOSEPH FOSTER, and > to Provincial Congress 1775. 


Under the Constitution. 

Daniel Gould, 
Isaac Pepper, 
Isaac Pepper, 
William Bowdoin, 
William Bowdoin, 
William Bowdoin, 
William Bovdoin, 
William Bowdoin, 
William Bowdoin, 
William Bowdoin, 
Wiiham Bowdoin, 
William Bowdoin, 
William Bowdoin, 
William Bowdoin, 
Enos Davis, 
Enos Davis, 
William Paige Jr., 
Joseph (-ummings, 
Joseph Cummings, 
Joseph Cummings, 
Aaron Gould, 
Aaron Gould, 
William Paige Jr., 
Alpheus Demond, 
Aaron Gould, 
Aaron Gould, ) 
Samuel Phelps, ^ 
Joel Rice, 






Aaron Gould, ) 
Joel Rice, ^ 
Allender Brakenridge, 
Homer Banlelt, 
Alphens Demond, ) 
Enos Davis, ^ 

("alvin Morse, > 

Benjamin Wilder. ^ 
Thomas Wilder, ) 
John Osborne Jr , \ 
1 homas Wilder, ) 
Reuben Lazell, J 
Edmund Freeman, } 
Reuben Lazell, J 

Thomas Snell, } 
Royal Bosworth, J 
Thomas Snell, > 
Jason (jorham, J 
John Bowdoin, > 
Nelson Palmer, y 
Joel Rice, 
Ebenezer Gould, 
Horace Goodrich, 
Jonathan Harwood, 
Ansel Phelps Jr., 
Samuel M. Lemmon, 
Avery Clark, 





William Bowdoin Esq., was delegate to the Convenliou 
for revising the State Constitution, in 1820, 



Hon. Joseph Cummings was a member of the State Sen- 
ate from Hampshire County, in the years 1831 and 1832. 

He has also been County Commissioner for twelve years, 
and is now re-elected for another term. 



Feb. 23, 1811. 

June 14, 1817. 

Jan. 22, 1823. 

Feb. 22, 1825. 

Feb. 5, 1828. 

" 7, " 

" 1, 1832, 

May 24, " 

Feb. 18, 1833. 

Aug. 26, 1834. 
Jan. 29, 1835. 
Mai. 28, " 
Oct. 2, 
May 12, 1841. 
Aug. 29, 1843. 
Oct. 3, 

Dec. 31, 1844. 
July 1, 1845. 
Apr. 15, 1846. 
May 15, " 

William Bowdoin, 
Dr. Kufus King. 
Joseph Cummings. 
Thunias \. De.xter, 
Homer Barllett, 
Alplieus Demond. 
Aaron Gould. 
Henry Starkweather, 
Reuben A . Chapman, 

died Sept. 23, 1831. 

removed to Boston in 1826. 
" Lowell in 1839. 

New York in 1834. 
Springfield in 1834. 

Barlow Freeman, r. Jacksonville. 111. died Sep. 1838. 

Leonard Gould, 
William Hyde. 
Francis B. Stebbins, 
Thomas Wilder, 
Dr. Anson Moody, ' 
Ansel Phelps Jr., 
Lewis Babcock. 
Samuel Phelps, 
Josiah French, 
Joel Rice. 
John Bowdoin. 
Samuel T. Spaulding. 
Arthur L. Devens. 

died Nov. 4, 1839. 

Oswego N. Y. died May 1845. 

removed to Boston in 1836. 

" North Haven, Ct., in 1836. 

" Springfield in 1846. 

died Nov. 1, 1843. 
rem. to Halifax Vt., 1845. 

The Hall erected by the town, at the opening of which the forego- 
ing address was delivered, is situated nearly opposite the Hotel, at the 
corner of Main street and the road leading to Northampton and Spring- 
field. The buildmg is sixty feet long by forty-eight wide, two stories 
high. The first floor contains a room for a Grammar School, with a 
recitation room atiached, and an office for the Selectmn and Assess- 
ors. The second story is in one room, for the transaction of town bu- 
siness. The basement is occupied as a Market. The cost of the 
building and land, with the fixtures and furniture for the Hall and 
School-room, is about $4,500. The plan was designed by H. N. 
Sykes, Esq. of Springfield, and the building erected by Daniel Col- 
ton, of Longmeadow. 

The Building Committee were 




Of /